LASA praises nurses for their leadership and dedication in caring for older Australians, particularly during the coronavirus pandemic.

International Nurses Day, 12 May 2020, marks the 200th birthday of the legendary Florence Nightingale, with the theme ‘A voice to lead – nursing the world to health’.

“We say thank you for your passion and professionalism,” said LASA CEO Sean Rooney. “The heart of quality aged care is good nursing, backed up by a wide range of care staff.

“Time and again, we have seen the leadership of nurses during the coronavirus pandemic, with many putting themselves in harm’s way to ensure older Australians have the best chance of surviving COVID-19.

“We also remember the well over 200 nurses around the world who have succumbed to the virus as they fought to protect people of all ages.”

Aged care providers across Australia are honouring their passionate and professional nurses with a variety of celebrations, ranging from giving their staff traditional fob watches and dressing in historical uniforms, to ‘blessing of hands” ceremonies.

A regional Tasmanian nurse recently thanked her care colleagues for their resolve during the coronavirus crisis, saying: “It is heartening to see the work that staff are undertaking to keep residents safe, well, socially connected and interacting with each other.

“It is one of the reasons that families here are so willing to support whatever lockdown measures are required, because we know our loved ones are being treated with care, respect and love.“

Mr Rooney said there were ten of thousands of nurses working in residential and home care and their roles would always be critical.

“They are advocates and innovators and we will continue working closely with nurses to help ensure they can realise their true potential in aged care,” he said.

“Their trusted expertise must be properly valued, within and beyond this pandemic, as we go forward together and work to adapt Australian aged care to our nation’s ageing future.”

2020 is the World Health Organisation’s International Year of the Nurse and the Midwife.

Contact: Nick Way 0419 835 449 nickw@lasa.asn.au