Celebrating the Year of the Nurse and Midwife

When the WHO declared 2020 as the Year of the Nurse and Midwife, no one could have predicted just what a year it would turn out to be for nurses and midwives around the world as their vital importance to society became ever more obvious during the COVID-19 pandemic. To showcase the significant contribution nurses and midwives, in both clinical and research settings, make to better health outcomes for patients, and to celebrate their achievements, the Institute is sharing the inspirational stories of our nursing and midwifery researchers.

Written by Dr Grainne Lowe Nurse Practitioner

 

Dr Grainne Lowe is a lecturer in Deakin University’s School of Nursing and Midwifery. She has vast experience working in public, private and community healthcare settings and seeks to improve patient/client outcomes as part of her nursing role. Grainne has developed skills in advanced clinical practice, leadership, teaching and research roles. She feels her contribution to educating the next generation of nurses will help to improve patient outcomes and encourage best practice based on evidence.

 

 

 

What does the year of the Nurse and Midwife mean to you?

This year is a celebration of the crucial role that nurses and midwives play in healthcare as well as the growth and development of nursing and midwifery roles over the past 100 years.

Over the course of your life what has been your proudest accomplishment?

I think the older we get the more achievements we have to be proud of. So:
1) I am the first in my family to achieve a level of Masters and the only one to achieve a PhD – therefore that is a proud achievement as I come from a large family and therefore have many to inspire
2) I have four very accomplished children in their own rights. It is satisfying that they attribute some of their inspiration to their mother!

Over the course of your career what has been your proudest accomplishment?

Again, a difficult task. My career and my instinct to be drawn to new challenges has set me on a path. Some achievements are:
As above, completing my Masters degree whilst developing a new and untested role of Nurse practitioner in my health service was a highlight. Becoming endorsed as one of the first ED NPs in Victoria was another highlight – as were the opportunities to advise, present and make recommendations on the role going forward. This background inspired me to fully immerse myself in research, to understand and therefore lead change in organisational and professional issues associated with challenges to workforce and other entrenched cultures. I was privileged to lead the Australian College of Nurse Practitioners – the national peak body for Nurse Practitioners and Advanced Practice Nurses in Australia – as President, through a time of change and challenge.

What did you want to be when you were younger? And when did you decide to become a nurse or midwife?

From an early age I remember wanting to be a teacher. I did think about nursing early, but did not go to down this path until later.

What inspires you to do your job?

I’m inspired in my job because of all the possibilities. As an NP clinician, the potential is underutilised and much can be done to inspire others to change this. As an academic I am inspired by the challenge to provide high quality and relevant education to the next generation of nurses. My inspiration comes from the fact that nursing and midwifery do so much to improve patient/client/consumer outcomes, all we need to do is highlight these outcomes.

What got you interested in becoming a researcher in the area of nursing and midwifery; what do you hope to achieve with your research?

My interest in research resulted from a desire to look into what is being done and why. My earliest venture into nursing was in a model of “this is how we do it”. It was some years later that I learned to question that approach and address the dissatisfaction felt at times whilst trying to achieve good outcomes based on evidence, as well as being a leader. I am a curious person and search for answers to improve.