For Ashleigh Morris and husband Glen, helping those in need is a family affair.
Ashleigh has just completed her graduate year working as a nurse at St Andrew’s Ipswich Private Hospital, while Glen fights fires for a living.
Ashleigh, 31, jokes Glen inspired her to become a nurse.
“My beautiful husband is a fireman,” she said. “He has lots of cool stories so I wanted cool stories as well.”
But when the mother of two reveals the real reason she chose a career in nursing, her altruistic nature really shines through.
“I love looking after people, so I thought nursing would be interesting,” she said.
“To me, it’s just doing my job. I love my job and I think [nursing]is common courtesy. It is how I’d want my mum to be looked after, how I want my family to be looked after. That’s how I look after my patients.”
Ashleigh worked as a family day care educator for 10 years before switching careers.
Her caring nature and passion for helping people who are most vulnerable was evident while she undertook the 12-month graduate program at St Andrew’s Ipswich.
It led the hospital’s graduate program coordinator, Sue Platell, to nominate her for the Outstanding Graduate Award in the HESTA Australian Nursing Awards.
Ashleigh has since been named as one of three finalists in the category.
“Ashleigh has consistently received excellent feedback from staff and patients throughout her grad year,” Ms Platell said.
“Ashleigh has been noticed to often go beyond what was expected of her. This was often in the little things, but to a patient they are big things.”
Ashleigh said she was honoured to have been recognised for her work.
“I’m very thrilled and honoured, it’s even overwhelming,” she said. “We’re all there for our patients and we bring our own different spin and personalities to our job.
“I think nurses do an amazing job and it would have been very hard to pick anyone out of the nominations, so I feel very honoured.”
Ashleigh’s colleague Thembie Ndebele has also been nominated for the Outstanding Graduate Award, which will be announced at a ceremony in Melbourne on Thursday evening (12 May).