Coral Levett, President of the NSWNMA and the ANMF, originally wrote this column for the Australian Nursing Journal.
Wellbeing is an emotional and physical state we hear more and more about in terms of its importance to our chosen career. It has strong links to feelings and emotions such as happiness and sadness and is often explained in terms of the balance of these emotions.
Attempts to describe this state of mind have been many. One of the simpler ones is Myers’ (2002) view that wellbeing is a subjective assessment of self or a “pervasive sense that life is good”. Although wellbeing is mostly explained from the subjective viewpoint, it can also be explained objectively and more seen on a global level. Wellbeing can be more than just pleasant emotions in the here and now, having the potential to be a positive and sustainable condition that allows individuals, teams, families or even nations to thrive or flourish.
Professor Glenn Gardiner (Queensland University of Technology), Professor Christine Duffield (University of Technology Sydney) and Professor Anne Gardner (Australian Catholic University) in partnership with the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (ANMF) and Australian Nursing and Midwifery Accreditation Council (ANMAC) have been successful in a recent ARC grant to progress with the next phases of the Advanced Practice Nurses (APN) study titled ‘Making Nursing Work’.
Expressions of interest are being sought from APNs who would like to participate in this next stage.
What is the study about? The study aim is to investigate the work activities and practice patterns of Advance Practice Nurses (APN) across Australia using work sampling methods.
‘Hello. My name is Stevie and I’m the nurse working with you today.’
Nurse. I get to say ‘nurse’ now. The first time I had to write that on the patient information board next to the bed, I took a moment to let it sink in. I get to be a nurse. Someone hired me as a nurse. That’s amazing. And terrifying.
Stepping onto the ward for the first time, in full uniform, complete with sensible shoes, my name badge and my ‘pickpocket’ nursing pouch, I had a moment of feeling completely happy. A moment of ‘this is where you’re supposed to be’. I want to bottle that feeling – that feeling of being at home, at peace and utterly content with my small place in the world. I want to always remember how that felt. I know there are going to be times in my nursing future where I’m not going to be able to feel that way, but I’m glad I feel it now.
Mental health nurse Helen Hedges looks at a new approach to the emotions triggered while working as a nurse – Emotional Intelligence.
Nursing staff often experience emotional exhaustion from being givers in the health care setting – an unwritten rule is to be kind and caring at all times. There is an expectation of being fundamentally able to handle every shift’s workload, to be an educator, to be a productive leader, to be a manager. And there’s an organisational expectation of being able to deliver the best patient care and outcomes.
Today, Lily seeks advice. Please offer your thoughts in the comments below.
I am currently employed in mental health and have been for the past three years. I have been attempting to transition into general nursing for over two years now and have been actively applying over the past six months for general nursing positions, but keep getting told that I do not have the relevant clinical experience.
When I request feedback on my applications or discuss this with workforce managers in a number of major teaching hospitals, I get told that employers are only interested in nurses with general experience or who are in the new graduate program.