About Me

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.

Me!

Me!

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.

 

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8 thoughts on “About Me

  1. I totally support the need to keep contributing to the vast volume of work that has already been done to move the profession of nursing forward and to promote the many career paths nursing offers. I’m also interested in being part of a cultural shift away from the ‘eat their young’ mentality to one that is more fitting for a profession. (And yes, people do read the ‘about me’ sections!)

  2. The ANF had a great feature article in March on bullying, horizontal violence and the ‘eat our young’ reputation nursing suffers. There is certainly a lot of literature that supports this reputation.

    That being said, I have not come across this in my short time as an RN. I had extremely supportive preceptors as a student and have had nothing but encouragement as a graduate. So now, I work on paying this back and sharing this support with others.

  3. I really agree with your comment on the need for nurses to understand our impact on the professions representation and reputation among society. It’s baffling to still see nurses smoke, it’s disappointing to hear nurses trash talk the profession and contrasting this is the total joy I experience when I meet nurses who absolutely love, are inspired by and motivated by nursing!

  4. Just found your site and I am happy to read your bio- I have been nursing for 36 years and still love it. I have had many pathways and embrace any opportunity to try something different. I have spent time working in all areas , particularly paediatrics. My last 10 years I have run staff health clinics and see the staff as my “family”. I will miss this role but I am now moving onto a new role with an NGO as nurse manager in disability service. It will be challenging , espec with NDIS , but I am looking forward to this new journey. Glad to hear you haven’t experienced horizontal violence- share your knowledge and yourself and you will have a wonderful career.

  5. Laurie I saw you talk at the ANMF student study day in Melbourne this year and you have inspired me to be the best nurse I can be. I have been practicing using “why” more in my vocabulary instead of remaining quiet and I am feeling empowered. I hope to be standing where you were on the stage one day and speaking and inspiring others like you inspired myself and others around me that day. Thank you.

  6. What a wonderful site . I’m a third year nursing student and am so glad I came across your blog . It gives me insight and inspiration into the world that is nursing.
    I also am excited as you are my tutor for one of my courses this semester ☺️
    Cheers,
    Mara

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