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2020 International Year of the Nurse & Midwife - February Edition

We continue to celebrate 'The Year of the Nurse & Midwife' by showcasing Hurstville's very own Rhonda Sexton. Rhonda has shared her story of how she began her nursing career and details her achievements along the way.


What year did you commence your nursing career?

I spent my early years growing up in the Country. I commenced my nursing training in 1970 at St George Public Hospital because my Aunty lived close by and that meant I could stay with her.

What hospitals have you worked at?

I have worked in a few places around Sydney; including;

  • St George Public Hospital
  • Tresillian
  • Canterbury Hospital
  • International Board of Lactation consultants
  • Nursing home – Aged Care facility

Why did you choose to become a nurse?

I chose to become a nurse as I have always enjoyed helping people. I remember my Mother always told me that ‘I would always have a job and that Nurses are respected in the community’.

I love working with the mothers and babies within the Maternity Unit. I love meeting new people and watching the new parents grow in confidence and see them go home as a family”

What year did you commence employment at Hurstville Private Hospital?

I started at Hurstville Private Hospital in 1990.

Provide us a highlight in your career that you would like to share

During my time as a RN, I lived in the nursing quarters, where the staff were extremely strict. Our uniforms had to be knee length and they regularly checked if we were wearing our petticoats under our uniforms. If we wanted to go out to a social event on a Saturday evening, we had to ask the Sister for permission to leave the grounds.

Once a week they would make us strip our beds to change the sheets and remove everything off our dressing table. The home sister would come with a white glove and run her finger along the furniture and if she found dust or dirt, she would leave a stern letter.

When I was in training, during visiting hours, we would place the babies near the window so visitors could see the babies.

Over the period of time, I have met many wonderful families, have made many friendships. My family is always proud when people stop me in the street to say how good their experience was when I cared for them.

In more recent days I enjoy promoting the hospital at the Maternity open days and participating in promotional Marketing videos. I recently put my hand up to appear in a promotional video focusing on the Maternity Patient Journey, which was advertised at the local cinemas. Shortly after, I was stopped in the street by this young gentleman who asked me for my autograph as he saw me at the movies. I felt both flabbergasted and embarrassed.

I enjoy working with my colleagues and feel privileged to work at Hurstville Private Hospital. I love the mothers and babies and the staff are friendly and supportive. I feel a sense of pride that our little 6 bed unit has grown to the lovely unit that we have now. Many changes have occurred over the years but maintaining excellent patient care has ALWAYS been at the centre of what we do.

Celebrating 2020: International Year of the Nurse & Midwife:

February 2020 – Rhonda Sexton Hurstville Private Hospital