Celebrating International Nurses Day

As a child, Ros Nagorcka liked to dress up in a nurse’s unform and hat and knew from a young age where her working career was headed.

Today, after 47 years in the nursing profession, Portland District Health’s Executive Director of Nursing, Midwifery and Aged Care is 100 per cent content with her career choice.

“I was always destined to be a nurse and my family has photos of me as a child in my nurses’ apron with my nurses’ hat,” she said. “If I had my time over again, I’d still be a nurse. It’s the best job in the world.”

As she leads Portland District Health’s celebration of International Nurses Day 2023 on May 12, Ms Nagorcka says the profession opens many doors for people.

“It’s the best career path and the sky’s the limit,” she said. “There are so many things you can do when you’re a nurse; you can specialise in whatever appeals to you.”

Describing herself as a “real bedside nurse”, Ms Nagorcka started her training in 1976 and worked as a spinal nurse for 12 years and managed PDH’s drug and alcohol service before becoming Director of Nursing.

“When I trained in 1976 it was different because you started in the pan room cleaning pans and bowls, something that today’s nurses don’t do.”

But some things still ring true. “It has changed in many ways but the more it changes the more it stays the same,” Ms Nagorcka said. “It’s still about caring for your patients. People come to you when they are unwell and you work closely with doctors to make sure they are cared for and comfortable and get better. That hasn’t changed.”

PDH will host an afternoon tea to celebrate the contribution of nurses to mark International Nurses Day.

“International Nurses’ Day is a day to think about nurses from all parts of the world and how they provide care for people who are sick,” Ms Nagorcka said.

The theme for International Nurses Day 2023 is Our Nurses. Our Future.


Our team of amazing nurses: (Left to Right) Noah Deane, Mallory Nelson, Harvey Ubungen,  Ros Nagorka, Janice Baynes, Michael Ashby, Hannah Blythman, Natalie Herbertson and Cassie Jewel.