BALLINA resident Emma Hommen celebrated her first International Nurses Day yesterday as a recently graduated enrolled nurse.
Mrs Hommen is one of four recently graduated nurses who are part of a new post graduate program at St Vincent's Private Hospital.
The program exposes the graduates to different types of nursing roles for a year, providing them with valuable hands-on experience after finishing their studies at TAFE.
Mrs Hommen, who used to be a hairdresser for 25 years in Sydney, expressed her satisfaction with her career change.
"We have very supportive staff and great educators here, so I am loving the nursing experience."
Nursing staff at St Vincent's Private Hospital enjoyed a barbecue organised by Lismore police officers as part of the day's festivities.
Also celebrating the day were Julie West and her daughter Amanda, both registered nurses at St Vincent's Private Hospital.
Both ladies now enjoy working together.
Amanda encouraged people of all ages to consider nursing as their career path: "If you care about people then you should consider it".
"You also need to be patient. We deal with a lot of older people. We must treat patients the way we would like our mums and dads to be treated," Julie West added to her daughter's comment:
"Nursing is a very good profession, is very good for women."
Amanda added that one of the advantages of nursing was the chance to take her skills overseas, with many countries looking for people with medical skills.
Nurse Julie explained that it was the people she met every day as patients that made the nursing role special for her.
"We often meet some very interesting and some very wise people."
There are more than 90,000 registered and enrolled nurses and midwives in NSW, plus about 10,000 assistants in nursing.