Writing a section called “About Me” is a little bit daunting. I have to admit I have no idea what to include, what to leave out, whether to share personal info or keep it strictly work related. Does anyone ever read this section anyway? Looking at other blogs, there seems to be no strict rules, so here it goes.
My name is Laurie Bickhoff and I’m a registered nurse. I don’t think I will ever get sick of saying that. It gives me immense pride and joy to be able to call myself an RN. Nursing was actually the fourth career I started, with unfinished ventures into both law and naturopathy and many years as a pharmacy technician. However, whether it was fate, destiny or just plain luck, I found my home in nursing. From my very first class in university, I knew without a doubt I had found my calling.
I graduated from the University of Newcastle, Ourimbah Campus, in 2012. I loved studying, especially at Ourimbah. I was lucky enough to have lecturers and tutors who challenged me to go further than just the syllabus, and showed me just how far nursing could take me.
In 2012, I was one of five Australian students selected to take part in the Emerging Nurse Leader (ENL) program, which is a three year scholarship initiative run by the Australia College of Nursing. The ENL program has been amazing, providing me with the opportunity to meet and interact with inspirational nurses from all over the world.
After graduating, I completed a transition to practice program in 2013 within Hunter New England Local Health District. My graduate year saw me develop a fascination with the heart and the effect it can have on every other system in the body. At the moment, I am lucky enough to be completing a transition to cardiology nursing program and hope to one day work as a Cardiology Clinical Nurse Educator or Consultant.
I have too many passions to list or go into great detail here, so I’ll just mention the top contenders. I believe we need to continue to work to have nursing recognised as a true profession, and further grow the respect and admiration our colleagues who went before us have earned. Let’s stop the idea that nursing is a ‘back-up’ or ‘safety net’ career, and start working on making sure those given the privilege to be nurses, actually have both the passion and the intellect to do this complicated job.
I think we need more education for nurses on the impact they have on the reputation of our profession. All nurses, regardless of their position, can have both a positive and negative impact on the public perception of nursing, and we need to do more to showcase those amazing nurses we all work with every day.
I believe our students and early career nurses need more support, if for no other reason than these are the nurses who will be looking after us one day. We need to stop the exodus of competent, caring nurses by getting rid of our ‘eat our young’ reputation and instead growing a supportive and nurturing culture.
I would love to see our profession identifying and encouraging nurse leaders, and giving them the training and skills needed to succeed. Too many nurses are put into management and leadership positions without adequate support or education. We need to stop setting our colleagues up to fail, when given the right support, these nurses could become the amazing leaders we all want to work with.
Sorry, I’ll step off my soap box now. But keep your eye out for separate posts on these and my other passions.
Well, I think that gives you a pretty good idea of who I am and where my posts come from. I’d love for you to comment and let me know who you are. I hope you will join in, share and comment on my posts and we can get some conversations started. Who knows where they might lead.