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Jodie and Margaret Neal

Nursing a family tradition

10 May 2019


This year Mother’s Day and International Nurses’ Day happen to share the same date, but mums and nurses have much more in common than Sunday 12 May.

Student enrolled nurse, Jodie Neal, was inspired to pursue her dream job by a nurse she has known her entire life, her mum.

“Great mums make great nurses,” says Jodie, who will soon be doing a placement at Nepean Hospital where her mum, Margaret Neal, has worked since 2003.

Jodie says she has seen her mum’s endless capacity for compassion, understanding and caring as a mum and a nurse.

“Mum has always been a nurse. It’s all I’ve grown up knowing,” says Jodie who is studying enrolled nursing at TAFE.

“Patients and their families have stopped us in the street when we’re out shopping to thank mum.” Margaret Neal has been nursing for over 50 years.

According to Jodie, Margaret started nursing in England had a ‘break’ to raise three kids and returned initially to work in a medical centre before joining the Reconnect program and retraining as an enrolled nurse.

Margaret says the motivation for slipping on the uniform year after year and heading off for her shift has been making a meaningful difference in people’s lives when they need it most.

“I just like helping people, talking to the patients and their relatives. They often need to just talk to someone,” says Margaret, who is currently on Ward 5A. “I really don’t know when I’ll stop.”

Margaret’s advice for the next generation of nurses is simple

“Don’t forget the basics, talking to patients and listening to patients. It’s appreciated more than you think.”

As for Margaret’s thoughts on Jodie following in her footsteps. “I told her she would make a good nurse and the time is right now.”


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