A life of caring rewarded

Retired Lismore Base Hospital deputy director of nursing, Rosanne Squire, was so respected by her workmates that they formed a guard of honour when she left the hospital for the last time in March. The staff then nominated her for a National Care Award, which she won on Monday.

From the tender age of 10, when she nursed her burns victim aunt to recovery, Rosanne Squire knew she wanted to spend her life caring for others.

Almost 50 years later the retired deputy director of nursing at Lismore Base Hospital has been recognised for her passion in caring for the sick and elderly, being presented with the National Care Award at the Australian Nursing Awards in Brisbane on Monday.

Rosanne was nominated for the award by the nursing team at Lismore Base Hospital, where she worked for 32 years before retiring in March.

Lismore Base Hospital educator Charmaine Crispin said Rosanne had touched the lives of thousands of staff and patients over her extensive nursing career and she believed Rosanne was more than deserving of the accolade.

She is renowned for having a genuine concern for her staff and their families and her eye for detail, especially with rostering, is legendary, she said. Her golden rules of truth, respect, equity, trust and confidentiality have influenced high standards for generations of nurses.

Much of Rosannes time at Lismore Base Hospital was spent caring for staff so they could better care for patients, and she said it is in this role she had some of her most rewarding moments.

I have experienced so much joy mentoring the daughters of nurses I worked with years ago and welcoming experienced nurses returning to the profession, Rosanne said. Your relationship with staff is built on trust over time, and many people shared with me their joys and their fears, which gave my role true meaning and purpose. For me it was very special to discover it was the staff who nominated me. I was really overwhelmed.

Rosanne, who lives at McLeans Ridges, is now helping her husband Peter on their macadamia farm, and while she misses the hospital and all the staff, shes also relishing the new challenges in her life.

For the first time Im doing things like driving tractors, and I love it, Rosanne said. Nursing was all about facing new challenges I couldnt of had better training for the rest of my life.

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