By Adj Assoc Prof Ann Maree Keenan, Chief Nurse and Midwifery Officer, Safer Care Victoria
In Victoria men make up only 10 per cent of the nursing and midwifery workforce (Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia).
But men contribute a lot to the nursing profession. So in celebration of men in nursing, I would like to introduce two of my colleagues from Safer Care Victoria and the Department of Health and Human Services.
Nathan manages the Incident Response Team at SCV where he oversees the Victorian sentinel event program, SCV Academy and a variety of review functions.
Nathan qualified as a registered nurse in 1990 after completing a Bachelor of Nursing at Deakin University. He went on to complete an honours degree in nursing and worked as a clinical nurse both in Australia and overseas.
Upon returning to Melbourne, Nathan commenced at the Alfred Hospital as a clinical nurse educator in the Emergency and Trauma Centre. During this time he completed a Post Graduate Diploma in Critical Care Nursing and a Master of Professional Education and Training.
"I love nursing because it lets me apply what I have learned in science, humanities and the arts towards supporting people through some of the most vulnerable moments of their life. Nursing continues to ground me but doesn’t stop me from expanding my horizons. I can now make a difference both at the bedside and to an entire health system. How awesome is that!"
Nathan then became heavily involved in trauma management, eventually becoming manager of the National Trauma and Research Institute’s trauma reception and resuscitation project. It was here that he embarked on his journey of study in human factors and safety science. This led Nathan to join Melbourne Health as Risk Manager, coordinating the response and review of serious adverse events.
As well as his work at SCV, Nathan is in the final stages of a Master of Safety Science to become a human factors engineer. On top of this enormous task he still finds time to practice clinically as a registered nurse in Alfred Health’s Emergency Department.
A fun fact about Nathan – he is a great cook, especially when it comes to catering for all the different food preferences in his household.
Duncan manages the Nursing and Midwifery Workforce team at the Department of Health and Human Services. He completed his Bachelor of Nursing at La Trobe University in 1994 and took part in a graduate program at The Royal Melbourne Hospital.
Over the next 10 years he held a wide variety of positions at Melbourne Health. Duncan also worked as the Nursing Workforce Liaison Officer and led the establishment of a centralised nursing allocation department, which many consider essential to the efficient management of the workforce.
Duncan joined Peninsula Health as a Nurse Unit Manager and Site Manager before commencing at Austin Health. There he undertook a variety of roles and helped to advance the nursing workforce. This included Nursing Site Manager at The Royal Talbot Rehabilitation Centre, project lead for the implementation of the Health Assistant, Nursing pilot program, and Assistant Director of Nursing where he led the establishment of the Nursing Workforce Unit.
During this busy period Duncan also completed a Graduate Certificate in Human Resource Management through Deakin University.
"I have not forgotten why I’m passionate about nursing. It’s the little things that nurses and midwives do that can make a difference in people lives. I remember being a student taking a patient for a walk, and just having a chat. I still remember that conversation. In appreciation the patient said. ‘May the sun shine warm upon your face and may the wind be always at your back’. From that day I knew nursing was a career for me."
In 2015 Duncan joined the department as a Senior Project Coordinator in the Workforce Innovation and Reform team before commencing his current role. During his time at the department he has implemented the Safe Patient Care (Nurse to Patient and Midwife to Patient Ratios) Act 2015 and led development of the Safe Patient Care Amendment Act 2019.
Duncan continues to engage with key nursing and midwifery stakeholders to inform strategic policy advice that builds the capacity and capability of the workforce.
A fun fact about Duncan - he is an avid photographer who recently upgraded his camera. Look out for him in your area!