Mother-daughter, mother-son and even father-son nurses


International Women’s Day inspired Nurse Uncut to think about the huge influence mothers can have on their children. How many of you have a mother who is a nurse or midwife who influenced you to take up this profession?

There are many examples of mother-daughter nurse and midwife pairs (or even families where two or more daughters have followed in their mother’s footsteps.)

Sarah’s mother’s career had a big influence on her decision. “I saw how much she enjoyed her job and the satisfaction she got out of it,” said Sarah. “I wanted to be at the bedside and have a family life as well.”

In some cases, the mother followed her daughter into the profession. Madeleine Daly began her four-year nursing and midwifery dual degree in 2010 and mother Mary applied to study nursing later that same year.

Victorian Brad Allott, who grew up on his parents’ dairy farm, gave farming a go for a few years but then decided to follow his mother and become a nurse. So, any other mother-son nurses out there?

We’ve even come across a dad and his two sons who all went into nursing, in the US.

Donald Gray Jr spent 22 years as a paramedic. But the long hours – he often worked 48-hour shifts – caused him to seek a career change. When the family moved in 2009 to help care for an ailing family member, he decided to pursue a nursing degree. His two sons thought it sounded like a good career for them as well.

They aren’t the only father-son nurses.

So tell us your story – are you the mother, the father or the offspring who also became a nurse or midwife?

Main image: Mother and daughter nurses in the US. Picture by Dana Shaw


  1. My sister and I both followed in our mum’s footsteps, becoming nurses straight after school. She has recently retired after dedicating 42 years to the profession! We couldn’t be prouder and both hope to be as inspiring and professional as she is.

  2. My maternal grandmother was a nurse.
    She looked after both her parents before qualifying.
    She also nursed during WW2 overseas.
    I remember looking at all her photos of the tent hospitals & stretcher beds. (Sadly these historic photos went missing later in life)
    She lost her first fiancée to this war. Only marrying upon return and having her first child at 38.
    She tried to retire early, but drove her family crazy so happily returned, only to retire again very late in life.
    Always very proud of such an awesone woman.
    I still hold precious her little blue butterfly brooch.

  3. My mother was a girl of twelve in Vienna when the war broke out and 18 when it ended. Her during and after the war was avoiding the Russian and American soldiers. She worked as a nurse sometime after and married a Hungarian/French Foreign Legionnaire in 1950 – then in 1960 with 4 children came to Australia. Here her ‘language’ deficit blocked work as a nurse, so she was a seamstress and factory worker, while studying English and anatomy, then nursing and about 1967 started as a nurse (AIN) at Lidcombe Hospital.
    I drove her to work from a flat in the area where she lived, when visiting her (she left my father and all the kids to ‘enable her’ to study…. then divorced him to marry the chief night male nurse). That was life.
    One day while dropping her off I met other nursing supervisors (who liked me) and numerous nurses (beautiful female nurses and ugly, often bearded male nurses). Until then I thought all male nurses were queer, but here they were, many over 6ft tall, with Harleys or Yamaha bikes. The wages were also about $55 a week compared to the $36 a week that the first-year of a QANTAS pilot cadet wage, so I opted out of one and entered nursing.
    Never regret that move, although after 30 years of nursing (mainly in ICU) I realised there were much better options (financially), but only hindsight would have opened that door. The job got me my first V8.
    I married a beautiful nurse from Bankstown Hospital who came to work at Lidcombe, but also remain in love with dozens of the nurses I worked with there….
    My mother is now 90 and retired, and Lidcombe is obliterated in life, but not in building (converted to quality housing/heritage stamped). Have worked in many hospitals since and still remain in this crazy occupation even though there is no need to do so.


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