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Real Nurse Stories

Real Nurse Stories

By Eva Storey
Real Nurse Stories began as a way of recognising nurses and nursing to celebrate the 2020 International year of the Nurse and Midwife and the commemoration of the 200th anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale. My goal was to give nurses a platform and a voice to share their career journey's and help other nurses listen to realise that they are not alone with their struggles and learn from their colleague's stories. Please subscribe to hear all my latest podcast episodes.
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Why as nurses do we find it so hard to ask for help for ourselves?
It has been a tough two years for the nursing profession. Many nurses are considering leaving the profession and many are reporting symptoms of burnout and exhaustion. As a profession, we need to acknowledge these struggles, listen to nurses' experiences and importantly take urgent action to support nurses globally as we cannot afford to lose nurses. We all have a part to play in using our sphere of influence. This Podcast is my way of using my sphere of influence as both a registered practising nurse and a trained professional coach. In this episode, I talk about why as nurses we struggle to ask for help and to think about how we respond to someone when a colleague asks for help. I reference Brene Brown's New Book Atlas of The Heart and Beyond Burnout by Suzi McAlpine if you would like to know more you can click on the links for each book. If you would like to know more about the work that I do coaching Nurses you can find out more here If you would like to contact me to find out how coaching can help you please email me at
March 11, 2022
Iris's story
In this episode, I interview Iris who is currently a Grad nurse on placement in Rural Western Australia. Iris never wanted to be a nurse and always thought that she would go into paramedicine but became hooked on Nursing We cover her journey into nursing and her experience working as a Graduate nurse in a remote and rural site in Western Australia. Iris's interview is energetic and her adventurous, bubbly and resilient personality shines through in this episode. She describes how she took a leap of faith, taking a graduate placement in a rural area and has developed her nursing and critical thinking skills in ways that she would never have thought possible. If you are a newly qualified nurse thinking about a rural placement take a listen, you will not be disappointed I promise! If you would like to know more about the work that I do coaching Nurses or are interested in being coached by me you can find out more here
August 20, 2021
Cynarra's story
Cynarra, always knew that she wanted to be a nurse, nursing runs in her blood. Her mum was a nurse and Cynarra grew up with an older sister with complex disability needs. These early influences led Cynarra to follow a career in disability nursing and more recently teaching nurses as a nurse lecturer about how to communicate and care for clients who are living with a disability. Helping them to see the person and learn how to communicate so that as nurses we can understand their needs and how best to support clients living in the community. We talk about the importance of preceptorship, clinical supervision and Cynarra shares her tips for leaving work at work and maintaining her self care away from work. Cynarra has such a lovely gentle personality that she uses to share her knowledge and experience gained in the 8 years that she has been a nurse. I hope you enjoy listening to this episode as much as I did interviewing Cynarra. If you have enjoyed listening to this episode please subscribe to my podcast to hear all the latest episodes. If you would like to know more about the work that I do coaching nurses please visit my website If you would like to share your story please email me at
July 15, 2021
Emillee's Story
In this episode, I interview Emillee who is currently working as a Psychiatric Liason nurse in ED in regional Western Australia. Emillee always wanted to be a Doctor and entered into nursing thinking that she would become a Doctor at a later point. She wasn't able to get a grad position and was offered a post in a private mental health clinic as a newly qualified nurse.  She came to love working as a mental health nurse and has experience working with patients in an inpatient, outpatient, mother and baby unit, community mental health, and in the emergency department in her current role. Emillee is a passionate advocate for patients who are struggling with their mental health. In this interview, we talk about the stigma of mental health both from a patient and a nursing perspective. Her interview is a testament to her willingness to take a leap of faith and learn about mental health nursing despite having had no exposure to the care of patients with a mental health condition during her training. We also covered the importance of mentorship, clinical supervision and debrief as mechanisms to help nurses deal with the stresses of working in the challenging environment of mental health. Emillee also shares her knowledge, experience, and wisdom in balancing life and work successfully. If you have enjoyed listening to this episode please subscribe to my podcast to hear all the latest episodes.  If you would like to know more about the work that I do coaching nurses or would like to share your story drop me an email at
June 24, 2021
Jacqui's Story
In this episode, I interview Nurse Jacqui as she is affectionately known by the clients that she works with. Jacqui is a passionate nurse, a confidence coach, champion of carers and a BeYOUtiful Mentor. Jacqui shares her journey into why she became a nurse and her journey into entrepreneurship as the founder of Heartplace and BeYOUtiful mentor Jacqui candidly shares her experience whilst working as a nurse, of compassion fatigue and burnout as a result of a mindset of "work hard then rest". Jacqui recognised that she was not filling her self care compassion cup along the way until it was completely empty. Jacqui shares her insights into her own self-awareness and how her perfectionism, people-pleasing and overworking also didn't serve her self-compassion. Jacqui gives some great practical words of wisdom in her interview about how to find a little space for your self-compassion because nurses need nurturing too. Please subscribe to my Podcast to hear all the latest episodes If you would like to know more about the work that I do coaching nurses or would like to share your story please drop me an email at
May 13, 2021
Sonia's Sunny Street story
In this episode, I interview Nurse Sonia Goodwin who is a passionate nurse leader, entrepreneur, CEO and founder of Sunny Street. Sunny street is a Doctor & Nurse-led outreach service providing primary healthcare and complex coordination services for homeless and vulnerable individuals and families across the Sunshine Coast, Brisbane and Fraser Coast regions. Sunny Street has a mission to facilitate community connections and improve access to health care options. Sonia talks about how she became a nurse and then had a geronimo moment when she took a massive leap of faith in response to a question that was asked at a palliative care event. The question that led to the planting of the sunny street seed was "Are you really doing the best and the most that you can do for the people who need it the most?" The rest as they say is history. I loved interviewing Sonia who is a passionate advocate for vulnerable people, nursing leadership and a positive role model for female entrepreneurs everywhere. If you would like to know more about the coaching work that I do with nurses check out my Linkedin profile or visit my website  If you would like to share your story please contact me at
April 19, 2021
Samantha's Story
Samatha's story is the final episode of 2020 where I started out to interview a nurse a month as part of the 2020 International Year of the Nurse and Midwife. Most of my interviews have been with nurses working in Australia and it seemed only right to include the experience of an Australian nurse who identifies as being an Aboriginal woman. This experience needs to be heard and understood and more importantly, storytelling is a large part of Aboriginal culture. Samantha describes  "being caught between two worlds, a love of my people and a love of the frontline and trying to find the balance." Samantha is a Koori woman from Ngunnawal and Wiradjuri country. Samatha is passionate about wanting to increase access to health services through telehealth for Aboriginal people and importantly for Aboriginal people to be able to speak to a health care worker who identifies as Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander. Closing the Gap is something that Samantha references throughout her interview. The Australian Government describes  'Closing the Gap' as being "underpinned by the belief that when Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have a genuine say in the design and delivery of policies, programs and services that affect them, better life outcomes are achieved. It also recognises that structural change in the way governments work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people is needed to close the gap" Samantha's interview highlights that there is still much work to be done if the trust is to be rebuilt amongst Aboriginal communities to facilitate and sustain aboriginal community engagement that addresses their health needs and influences the services that need to be developed as a result. Samantha advocates and articulates passionately the health issues facing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and has a dream to establish a mentoring program that can help and support Aboriginal nurses to remain in their country through accessing remote learning and mentorship from qualified nurses who identify as Aboriginal Torress Strait Islander. If you can help Samantha realise this dream please get in touch and I would love to connect you both.
December 16, 2020
Grace's story
Grace's story is one of my favourites so far! Grace is a student nurse studying to become a registered nurse. Her journey into nursing was inspired by a condition that she was born with as a premature 26-week old baby. Her love of human biology is testament to the great person-centred care that she received from her Paediatric team who educated and involved Grace about her condition with age-appropriate education throughout her childhood. Grace talks about her experience as a young 17-year-old studying to become an enrolled nurse and some of the challenges that she faced. Grace had a three-week volunteer placement in Nepal, Katmandu, which she describes as "a shining star experience."  Her story illustrates that despite her young age she is a natural educator with fantastic critical thinking and project management skills and there are many examples in her story that illustrate these skills. Grace was awarded the New Columbo Grant and Award from the Australian Government Department of  Foreign Affairs and Trade as a result of her volunteering experience in Nepal. Her story is truly inspiring and I have no doubt that Grace will continue to give back and contribute her time and skills, making a difference to everyone she meets. I hope you enjoy this episode as much as I did. If you would like to know more about the work that I do with nurses in leadership training and coaching you can read more about me here  Are interested in sharing your nursing story on my podcast, please contact me on to arrange a chat.
November 26, 2020
Athol's Story
Athol grew up on a dairy farm and never dreamed of becoming a nurse. He had a love of anatomy and human biology and thought that he was going to study exercise science. His Grandmother suggested Nursing to him and the rest is history as they say! In this episode we talk about Athol's nursing journey, men in nursing, his struggles with burnout and how understanding his 'why' helped him to recover from burnout and resume his nursing career after three years of pain and turmoil. Athol's story is a great example of how seeking to understand who you are as a person and what drives you to become a nurse and making wise choices for yourself rather than what others might expect of you can help you to grow as a nurse and learn to deal with the challenges of nursing. Athol has put his experience of burnout to positive use by developing the FWards App which is designed to help busy nurses overcome stress. If you are struggling with Burnout and need someone to talk to contact the Nurse and midwife support national hotline confidential support for nurses and midwives. I teach leadership skills and coach nurses and midwives because nurses need nurturing too! You can find out more about the work that I do here
November 11, 2020
Nic's Story
In this episode, I interview Nic who is a nurse and an entrepreneur. Nic runs her own business helping nurses who are new to a management role by offering training and support and is a passionate advocate in helping nurses to transition from a clinical to a leadership role. Nic talks about her journey into nursing which was heavily influenced by her Dad dying when she was 13 and an acknowledgement that she didn't know what she was signing up for and how she went through a catharsis about what nursing was and what nursing is. This is a fun interview with Nic and fun and humour was central to a lot of what we talked about.  If you are a nurse manager then this episode is for you and is jam-packed with takeaways! Nic also shares candidly some of her struggles in her transition from a clinically proficient theatre nurse to a nurse manager in a leadership role. We talk about imposter syndrome and feeling a fraud and the elastic band of guilt that pulls nurse managers back to the floor. We also talk about the Xfactor of leadership that makes nurses want to stay in their job. We talk about Conflict but through a positive lens, tribal camaraderie, toxic positivity, mentorship and so much more. If you would like to know more about the work that I do with nurses and midwives you can find more information here
October 15, 2020
Jacquie's Story
This is a fabulous interview with Jacquie who started her nursing career wanting to make a difference to the care of pregnant women by becoming a midwife. Jacquie describes her career path as a spiders web with many twists and turns, seizing opportunities as they arose and always learning from the opportunities that presented themselves. Jacquie gives an honest account of some of the struggles in her career and how she learnt to be a better leader. Jacquie passionately believes that partnerships are the key to changing culture and that "culture changes culture". Jacquie has evolved to be a fantastic people leader and loves to get out on the floor growing, nurturing and connecting with people. Her philosophy of paying it forward by encouraging her staff to look out for each other is a great one to live by. Jacquie's team are very lucky to have such a fabulous role model and leader.  If you would like to know more about the work that I do coaching nurses and midwives click here or email me
September 17, 2020
Jamie's Story
It was a real pleasure to Interview Jamie about his nursing career for this episode. I learnt about the Losada Ratio which is something I didn't know before interviewing Jamie! Jamie is a passionate advocate for creating positivity at work as a leader and in his life generally. By his own admission studying positive outcomes has taken up his brain space over the last few years. Jamie has had a diverse nursing career to date. He came into nursing after volunteering in Malawi aged 18 and being inspired by hearing the stories from the Doctors who worked for Médecins Sans Frontières. Jamie shares some insightful tips for Grad nurses and talks about the importance of mentoring. Jamie is a secret musician at heart and in the early days of his training, this was what he wanted to do. There are so many takeaways for the listener in this interview my biggest takeaway is that positivity is infectious! If you would like to know more about the work that I do coaching Nurses and Midwives visit my website or drop me a line at I am always looking for Nurses and Midwives to interview for my podcast. If you would like to be interviewed email me for more information.
August 31, 2020
Wes's Story
In this episode, I interview Wes who works in the emergency department in Resus. Wes started his nursing career more by accident than planning. He began a business degree and then realised that he hated numbers! He enrolled on a nursing degree course as a way to get into radiology and after one year was hooked on becoming a nurse. Through a series of personal events in his life, it took Wes 5 years to complete his nurse training. Wes qualified as a registered nurse at the end of 2018 and like many newly qualified nurses in Australia, he struggled to get a graduate placement. There are always more graduates than there are placements and Wes describes how he used LinkedIn as a way of connecting to a Nurse Unit Manager on LinkedIn and how connecting led him to secure a graduate position. We cover a range of topics from how to deal with traumatic events, debrief both formally and informally, nurses and social media, tips for staying resilient, nursing as a gendered profession, and public perception around gendered roles in health care. Wes is passionate about helping new nurses starting out on their career. He has developed a series of articles to help newly qualified nurses set themselves up for success and he can be found on LinkedIn as Wesley Woodborne.   If you would like to learn more about the work that I do with nurses helping them to achieve a healthy work-life balance through coaching please get in touch If you are interested in being coached you can learn more about me here
August 10, 2020
Joanne's Story
In this episode, I interview Joanne who is a registered nurse working in an emergency department in a regional hospital in Australia. Nurses working in an emergency department never know what is going to come through the door and they deal with trauma on a daily basis. Working in an environment where there is daily exposure to trauma can deplete resilience and it is so important to have personal strategies to deal with this. Joanne describes emergency nursing as "caring from the first cry to the last breath". She describes her job as an emergency nurse as her Ikigai, her reason for being. Joanne has travelled extensively in her career and attributes her knowledge skills and experience in having taken opportunities to learn new nursing skills in regional nursing jobs across Australia. Joanne's talks about how she overcame personal struggles as a single parent, some serious health issues in her life and how her determination, strength, love for her daughter and her resilience got her through these very difficult times.  We talk about the struggles that nurses who are single parents have in terms of juggling shift work and child care, homelessness, Ikigai and much more. Joanne beautifully describes what the essence of nursing is all about with examples from her practice as an emergency nurse. If you would like to know more about the coaching work that I do with nurses or would like to tell your story please get in touch
July 30, 2020
Nurse Cannibals - Eating Their Young
In this episode, I interview Tracy Churchill and Emma Versluis who are senior nurses and the authors of a series of four articles that was published on Linkedin in June 2020. This episode explores how the authors became interested in the topic, along with the responses that they received as a result of publishing the articles. The articles and this podcast interview lift the lid on an important and taboo subject in the nursing profession and one that the authors agree is a shameful topic. Nurse stereotypes exist that portray a caring and nurturing profession, sadly not always towards each other. This year is the 2020 International Year of the Nurse and Midwife and both Tracy and Emma hope that in raising this important topic they can help to move away from "nurses eating their young" to a new culture where "nurses feed their young" through positive leadership skills and management. If you have been affected by any of the issues raised in this episode and feel that you would benefit from some coaching as a result please get in touch If you would like to know more about the work that I do coaching nurses, leaders and executives or would like to tell your story please get in touch
July 09, 2020
A Midwife's Story
This is a midwife's story who is working in Australia. The midwife's anonymity has been preserved for the purposes of this interview, which has allowed a candour to this career story. The story documents this Midwife's journey from her midwifery training in London in the UK to her present role. working as a clinical midwife in Australia. The story is raw and powerful and covers topics that are not often discussed such as burnout, dealing with the death of a baby and the effects of working in a stressful environment with little formal support or debriefing. The interview is an honest account of the struggles of working as a midwife in a pressured environment brings. This interview highlights how 'burying" traumatic experiences over time can negatively impact on personal resilience. It also highlights a dedication to wanting the best possible birthing experience for a mother and her baby. This midwife is passionate about midwifery-led group practice as being the way forward. To the listener please remember that this is one person's experience and it is their story. This story will be different for every midwife interviewed. What matters is that someone else who might be experiencing something similar is able to relate and not feel that they are the only ones going through a situation. Listening to this story may bring up some personal issues for listeners who might be able to relate to the experiences described in this episode. If you would like some help with this please get in touch or contact the 24/7 confidential national helpline  for Nurse and Midwife support in Australia on 1800667877
July 05, 2020
Amanda's Story
In this episode, I interview Amanda who is a community nurse team leader working in Tameside and Glossip in the North West of England. When Amanda was 15 someone told her that she wasn't clever enough to become a nurse. Amanda's story illustrates how this comment made her even more determined to achieve her goal to become a nurse. Amanda's journey starts as an Assistant nurse and follows her story through to her current role as a community specialist nurse practitioner team leader. Her goal setting didn't stop at nurse training. Amanda then refined and developed more goals and achieved them all with grit and determination. Amanda is a truly passionate advocate for patient care and community nursing. Amanda talks about the impact of COVID-19 on working with patients in the community particularly the difficulties for patients who are receiving end of life care. Her story is inspiring and contains so many takeaways for the listener. Amanda is also known by her own admission as the "singing nurse" and singing is one of her personal resilience strategies that she uses every day. Amanda describes how she overcame presentation anxiety challenges as a result of a debilitating nervous laugh.  Amanda talks about the importance of mentorship and is a mentor herself for others. If you would like to know more about the coaching work that I do with nurses or would like to tell your story please get in touch
June 08, 2020
Leonie's Story
I had a lot of fun interviewing Leonie for this episode. Leonie has had an interesting nursing and midwifery career in Perth Western Australia. Her career began in Geraldton and finished in Bunbury Regional Hospital. Leonie is a great storyteller and has a great sense of humour,  there was a point in this episode where the tables were turned and Leonie interviewed me! Leonie describes a bygone era of nursing that was very regimented and routinised care was the norm. She describes how she preferred Nursing administration to hands-on clinical care and talks about her experiences of midwifery along with her Director of Nursing role. If you would like to know more about the coaching work that I do with nurses or would like to be interviewed for my podcast please get in touch You can learn more about me here
June 01, 2020
Trish's story
In this episode, I interview Trish who has just retired from nursing after 43 years working as a nurse in Manchester in the UK.  It seemed very appropriate that this interview took place on International Nurses day 2020 as Trish trained at the very first NHS hospital, Park hospital in Trafford in 1973. Trish has had a really interesting nursing career but her heart truly was in community nursing. Trish has advocated passionately for older people and her trainee assistant practitioner students will know and love her for this. Trish has championed ageism and passionately promoted person-centred care for older people. Trish highlights the importance of life-long learning and gives lots of examples of this in her interview. Trish talks about the importance of mentorship, role modelling, reflective practice and team resilience and much more! If listening to this episode has raised some personal issues for you, please reach out and contact me to learn how I can help you through 1:1 coaching
May 13, 2020
Hazel's Story
In this episode, I interview Hazel who is a registered nurse working In an Emergency Department in Perth Western Australia. Hazel has a very gentle, caring and empathetic nature and is passionate about being an ED nurse. She shares how she manages stressful situations with her team through debriefing and self-reflection as well as looking after her own self-care. She talks about death, grieving and caring for family members when a loved one has died. If listening to this episode has raised some personal issues for you around burn out and stress management, please contact me to learn how I can help you through confidential 1:1 coaching You can find out more about me and the work that I do with Nurses and Midwives here
March 18, 2020
Rebecca's story
Listen to Rebecca's nursing career journey, we start with her nurse training in Melbourne, cover working in rural and remote nursing and working with indigenous communities in Australia, midwifery and aged care and coaching to mention just a few!  Rebecca talks openly and honestly about how burnout affected her and shares some of the life lessons that she has learnt as a result of her experience. Rebecca is a passionate advocate for aged care and has some great suggestions for how to attract nurses to work in the often misunderstood nursing speciality. There are some great takeaways in this interview. If listening to this episode has raised personal issues for you around burnout and stress management please contact me to learn how I can help you through confidential 1:1 coaching
February 21, 2020
Jayne Nurse Manager Western Australia
Welcome to Real Nurse Stories celebrating 2020 the year of the Nurse and Midwife. Real Nurse Stories Podcast provides an important platform for nurses to talk about their career, share some insights into their role and pass on some words of wisdom and importantly celebrate the diversity of nursing roles that have evolved in modern-day nursing. Jayne shares her story with humour and passion about her nursing career, her reason for going into nursing, her struggles as a nursing student and how she coped with being bullied, along with her passion for working with indigenous cultures. This interview takes a journey from Cornwall to Australia and a few more places in between.
January 12, 2020