Afternoon Tea delights RUSON/Ms for HESTA Australian Nursing and Midwifery Awards 2023

Monash Health is thrilled to be a finalist in the upcoming HESTA Australian Nursing and Midwifery Awards 2023 and last Wednesday, Nursing and Midwifery employees were treated to an afternoon tea from HESTA in recognition of the award nomination.

Monash Health is a finalist for Outstanding Organisation in recognition of establishing a recruitment pipeline for Registered Undergraduate Students of Nursing and Midwifery (RUSON/Ms) to help sustain a flexible nursing and midwifery workforce to care for our patients throughout the pandemic and beyond.

Pictured: RUSONs pose with Adjunct Professor Katrina Nankervis at the Afternoon Tea celebrating Monash Health being a finalist for the HESTA Australian Nursing and Midwifery Awards

Speaking about the occasion, Adjunct Professor Katrina Nankervis, Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer, Executive Director, Nursing and Midwifery shared, “We’ve been involved with the HESTA Awards for many years and are very proud of the fact that we have done well in the HESTA Awards in past years. This is the first time that we have been nominated for Organisation of the Year. So, it’s an incredibly proud moment for us.”

“I’d like to echo the thoughts of the importance of the RUSON/M role and the role you have played and continue to play in delivering safe and effective high-quality care to our patients, clients and consumers.”

Katrina also attributes the success of the RUSON/M program to the wider Nursing and Midwifery team.

“I would like to acknowledge and thank the team that supports our RUSON/M. Our team in the Nursing and Midwifery Workforce and Professional Practice area work incredibly hard to develop the RUSON/M program and the processes involved. In fact, the work they have done in developing this program has received such praise that we’ve shared our resources with other health services across the state.

Pictured: RUSONs speak with Adjunct Professor Katrina Nankervis at the Afternoon Tea celebrating Monash Health being a finalist for the HESTA Australian Nursing and Midwifery Awards

To celebrate the nomination and recognise International Nurses Day (12 May) and International Day of the Midwife (5 May) we spoke to Edwina Shelton and Ainslee MacKenzie about their experiences in the RUSON/M program and their career aspirations.

Pictured: Ainsley MacKenzie, RUSON, at Monash Medical Centre

Ainslee has been a RUSON for 2 years at Monash Medical Centre, Clayton, and is currently working at Ward 42.

“The best thing about being a RUSON is that there are so many learning opportunities. Here, the exposure is fantastic. As a student to be able to have this position and learn and grow is exceptional.

“The fact that we can help support patients as well as supporting the nurses is truly incredible. I get to work with some of the most amazing nurses who I’m inspired by every single day.

“There is something special about helping a patient and their family member during a vulnerable and challenging time in their lives and being there to provide support as best as we can. If I can make a small difference and have a positive influence on someone’s day, that means the world to me.”

Pictured: Edwina Shelton, RUSON and RUSOM, at Monash Children’s Hospital

Edwina is a RUSOM and RUSON and is aiming to complete her undergraduate studies at the end of the year. Like Ainslee, Edwina also enjoys the learning opportunities of the RUSON/M program and pursuing a career close to her heart.

“Healthcare runs in my family, my mum is a nurse and dad is a paediatrician. I was a premature twin (born at 28 weeks) so grew up hearing stories of all of the wonderful nurses and midwives who looked after my mum, my twin sister and I couldn’t imagine a more rewarding area to work in!”

“I’m proud to have been part of the first group of RUSOMs at Monash Medical Centre and Paediatric RUSONs at Monash Children’s Hospital, who I think have been able to help shape the way the program looks now.  It’s so rewarding to be able to support our patients and the amazing nurse and midwives we work with. It has been an incredible learning opportunity that I think will make me a better nurse and midwife. I hope the RUSON/M program continues to benefit student nurses and midwives in the future.

“The teams on Aviary and on Ward 52 both have such a strong sense of community, everyone plays their part and looks after each other. Both are teams I’m really proud to be part of.”

We asked Ainslee and Edwina to share what they see in their future careers in nursing, on reflection of the theme for International Nurses Day this year, “Our Nurses. Our Future.”

Pictured: RUSONs Abbey Holland, Penelope Cowie and Ainsley MacKenzie pose together at Monash Medical Centre

Ainsley is interested in pursuing Nursing in the Emergency Department.

“I think there’s something cool about working in a fast-paced environment where my critical thinking skills will be challenged on a daily basis.

“There is a little bit of fear surrounding coming into hospital, and that first contact with the hospital. So being able to support someone during that challenging time whether that’s physically or psychologically, the opportunity to be there for them would mean the world to me.”

Based on her family background and RUSON/M experiences, Edwina is interested in a Transition to Specialty Practice one day in paediatrics, postnatal care and becoming a lactation consultant.

“When I saw positions were opening up [for paediatric RUSON], I jumped at the chance! I’ve been able to get great insight into what working on a paediatric ward would be like.

“I’m passionate to pursue midwifery because I love looking after women and their families. The RUSOM role has emphasised that for me.

“You’re able to build up your basic clinical skills, and interact with other members of the team. I feel like I’m in a good position to transition to a midwife with extra experience and confidence.”

Pictured: Edwina Shelton, RUSON and RUSOM, and Sophie Webster, RUSOM attend the Afternoon Tea celebrating Monash Health being a finalist for the HESTA Australian Nursing and Midwifery Awards

We also asked Edwina to tell us something she’s applying from her learning and studies while reflecting on this year’s theme for International Day of the Midwife, “Together again: from evidence to reality”. Edwina shared how she implements patient-centred care where possible and how the RUSON/M role adds value to the patient-centred experience.

“Because we’re not allocated patients, we have the flexibility to use our time where we are most needed. So we can spend extra time with women that actually need it.

Congratulations to our Nursing and Midwifery team on the wonderful recognition. Check out our recent profiles of Nursing and Midwifery employees and their career experiences:



Approved by Adjunct Professor Katrina Nankervis, Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer, Executive Director, Nursing and Midwifery

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