Two Wide Bay Hospital and Health Service nurses Pammie Ellem Julie Evans  are among the first in Australia to be awarded cancer care credentialing.
Two Wide Bay Hospital and Health Service nurses Pammie Ellem Julie Evans are among the first in Australia to be awarded cancer care credentialing. Contributed

Two Wide Bay nurses lead the way in cancer care

TWO Wide Bay Hospital and Health Service nurses are among the first in Australia to be awarded cancer care credentialing under a prestigious new program that recognises specialist nursing skills and qualifications.

Bundaberg Hospital Telehealth Co-ordinator Pammie Ellem - who is also one of five ambassadors for the program - and Hervey Bay Cancer Care Centre Nurse Unit Manager Julie Evans were recently recognised under the Credentialing for Nurses (C4N) program.

Having a specialist nurse credential demonstrates to employers, colleagues, patients and their families that a nurse is a specialist in their area of practice and that they have achieved the professional standard for that specialty.

The two nurses said they were both big believers in the professional standards set by the program and were thrilled to have received their credentials, which will be valid for three years.

"I think credentialing is about being recognised for my expert clinical experience and academic knowledge in my specialist field," Ms Evans said.

"I also hope it can serve as an example for other specialist nurses to follow. This is a positive influence on the profession and should also reassure the public that those caring for them meet a specific standard.

"The program has also made me reflect on my professional experience and consider how my contribution to specialist nursing can influence improving standards for the future."

Ms Ellem said she also saw the C4N program as a way of demonstrating that nurses didn't have to work in metropolitan areas to be leaders in their field.

"Having always worked in rural and regional areas, I'm passionate about the amazing care and comfort regional and rural nurses provide to their community - they are extremely capable but not always recognised," she said. 

"I'm also passionate about encouraging my colleagues to further themselves in their nursing careers, which I've been able to do as an ambassador for C4N."

WBHHS Executive Director of Nursing Fiona Sewell said she was hugely proud of the senior nurses for achieving the milestone.

"I'm continually impressed by our nursing team's efforts to upskill and strive for higher qualifications, and Pammie and Julie are great examples of that," she said.

"I'd love to see more of our highly educated nurses follow suit."

Across Australia, only 21 nurses have been credentialed so far and Bundaberg has two of them.


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