“We are in a privileged position caring for people”: Nurse retires after 45 years

Retiring nurse Jenny Jackson (centre) with education coordinator Carol Denne and clinical nurse educator Kylie Davis.

Our community health team will be a little quieter now after the retirement of beloved and long-serving nurse Jenny Jackson.

After a 45-year career caring for the most vulnerable, Jenny has retired from Western Sydney Local Health District and plans to enjoy the time to declutter her house and smell the roses.

The Integrated and Community Health clinical nurse educator started her career as a registered nurse at the Royal Alexandra Hospital for Children (now known as The Children’s Hospital at Westmead) in March 1976.

In 1988, Jenny briefly joined Westmead Hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit before venturing into the community health team in 1989, where she stayed for more than 30 years.

“I’ve met many wonderful people over the years and will miss their friendship and support,” Jenny said.

“It gives me great satisfaction and is a privilege and honour to know that I’ve made a difference in someone’s life – whether it be a patient or another staff member.”

Jenny was presented with a certificate celebrating 30 years of service to WSLHD Integrated and Community Health.

Over the course of her career, Jenny had the opportunity to work as a nurse in countries including Scotland, England and Saudi Arabia.

When I worked overseas I worked in special and newborn care and paediatrics. Australian nurses were very highly thought of and it was a great experience,” Jenny said.

During her time at WSLHD she has worked as a generalist community nurse, nurse unit manager, Child and Family Health clinical nurse consultant and StEPS Vision Screening Program project officer.

In her role as clinical nurse educator she supported new nurses, coordinated student placements and education programs, and conducted manual handling and basic life support training exercises for nursing staff.

“Working as a nurse, we are in a privileged position caring for people when they are at their most vulnerable, and I will miss this responsibility,” Jenny said.

“I’m excited about this next stage in my life. It’s something I’ve worked towards and now it’s here and I plan to enjoy it.”

Integrated and Community Health education coordinator Carol Denne said community health had benefitted from Jenny’s role in the team.

“Jenny’s presence will be missed by all but particularly her colleagues in the education team”, Carol said.

“Many staff have commented that they will miss her wonderful sense of humour, booming voice, lovely smile and delightful laugh which can be heard from afar.”

We wish Jenny happy years ahead as she embarks on her retirement after decades of supporting staff and the clients across the district.