a bright future


A talented intensive care nurse at Mater Private Hospital in Brisbane, Annabel Pike made her mark early.


Annabel received the 2013 Outstanding Graduate Award at the HESTA Australian Nursing Awards for her holistic approach to patient care, exceptional technical and clinical skills, and for showing leadership in her role as an intensive care nurse.

Later in 2013, she backed up her win with a Pride of Australia Care and Compassion Medal.

Following a recent move to haematology, oncology and palliative care at Mater, Annabel spoke to us about her continued passion and drive for nursing excellence.


How did it feel to win the 2013 Outstanding Graduate Award?

It was simply overwhelming! To be recognised by my colleagues and patients as someone who goes above and beyond what is required of a nurse was a great feeling. I was surrounded by my family and the executive team from Mater, and I was delighted to share the win with them.


How was your recognition celebrated at work?

On my return to work after the Awards dinner, there was a sign on the door to Intensive Care that said “Home of the Australian Graduate Nurse of the Year”. Mater’s executive team hosted a morning tea in conjunction with ME — the bank for you.

All the executive team came — the Directors, CEO, all hospital managers, co-ordinators, educators and my colleagues. It was very humbling.

The story also made an appearance in local papers!


What did the Award mean to you?

Winning a national award as a graduate certainly gave me confidence in my own ability. As a junior staff member, it is very easy to be too hard on yourself and feel overwhelmed.

This Award opened my eyes and gave me the reassurance that I was good at my job. It gave me confidence that I made the right career choice.

How have you used the $10,000 prize money?

The prize money helped towards my HECS debt and allowed me to spend a really nice weekend away with my family.

“Recognition from a national independent body for our team’s exceptional patient care is a significant accolade for the whole organisation,” says Cheryl Clayton, Mater’s Director of Nursing.


What does the future hold?

After accepting the Award, I continued to work in intensive care for a further 18 months. I undertook a Certificate IV in Training and Assessment and have completed two medical placements in Cambodia as a clinical nurse educator in the past nine months.

I’m now working in the haematology, oncology and palliative care ward in the Mater Private Hospital. I’ve always wanted to educate nursing students and novice practitioners about caring for the whole patient, not just their ailment or injury.

So, I’m delighted to have been given the opportunity to do this at Australian Catholic University (ACU), where I studied. While continuing to work full time at Mater, I’m now taking on a role as tutor and clinical skills lab facilitator at ACU.



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