For nurses everyone is equal and when they come across someone who needs help, ‘Nurses just get on with it.’
That is the way Beth Rutherford sees it. Beth is a highly experienced nurse and nurse educator and currently she is the Success Coach for Nursing at Torrens University Australia and Think Education.
‘I started my nurse training straight from school,’ Beth says.
‘All the time I was learning and working in the hospitals there were always strong women to look up to. It was wonderful to see how competent and capable women were, and in my training as a nurse and in my upbringing in a family of four girls and one boy, I never thought there was anything women could not do.’
Looking back on the mentors she’s had during her career, Beth says, ‘One of the strongest women I've ever known, apart from the women in my family, was the Nursing Unit Manager of the Vascular unit at Prince Henry Hospital many years ago. Her name was Wendy McFarlane. She gave me this amazing insight that it wasn't good enough to be a good nurse. You had to be a good teacher as well, not only for staff's sake but for the patient's sake too. She showed me the importance of being able to share my knowledge in a clear way that the patients could understand.’
Inspired by Wendy McFarlane, Beth became a nurse educator, sharing her skills and experience with generations of students starting out in their own careers as nurses and midwives.
‘Women have every right to be strong and knowledgeable,’ Beth says.
International Women's Day and The Year of the Nurse & Midwife
‘International Women's Day (IWD), especially in the year of the Nurse and the Midwife, reminds us that women need to be recognised. They need to be recognised for who they are, for what they do, for our knowledge and intelligence and the way we think – that is incredibly important. There is usually a high degree of nurturing and caring among women who are nurses. I'm not saying men don't have those traits too, I'm just saying women have them in abundance.’
In the Year of the Nurse & Midwife, the ACN (Australian College of Nurses) share Beth’s excitement about IWD on 8 March, declaring their commitment ‘to championing for women’s equality, celebrate women’s achievements and challenge stereotypes and bias’.
Beth sums up what so many nurses, educators and nursing students will be saying loud and clear from every corner of the world on 8 March 2020:
‘I'm proud to be a woman. I'm proud to be a nurse. I'm proud to be an academic. I have a lot to give. And as all women do.’
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