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Celebrating Filipino Nursing Diaspora Day and International Nursing Week 2024

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May 7 marks the annual Filipino Nursing Diaspora Day, coinciding with International Nursing Week (6-12 May) and International Nursing Day on 12 May. This occasion serves as a poignant reminder of the dedication, expertise and compassion that nurses bring to healthcare systems across the globe.

Three Filipino nurses in Australia, Dr. CJ Cabilan, Dr. Joy Penman and Michelle De Leon, are making waves in their careers.

Spotlight on excellence: Dr. CJ Cabilan’s contributions to nursing and occupational violence prevention

Dr. CJ Cabilan
Dr. CJ Cabilan

Amidst the global celebrations of Filipino Nursing Diaspora Day and International Nursing Week this May, the spotlight shines brightly on the remarkable achievements of Dr. CJ Cabilan, a Filipino nurse whose contributions to the field of healthcare and occupational violence prevention have garnered international acclaim.

Dr. CJ Cabilan stands as a beacon of excellence, holding a PhD in nursing with a specialisation in occupational violence prevention, management and recovery in health settings. 

Her clinical experience and academic aptitude motivated her to delve deeply into the intricacies of occupational violence, striving to understand its dynamics and how best to reduce incidents and impacts on healthcare professionals.

Dr. Cabilan’s journey to excellence culminated in the attainment of PhD from The University of Queensland, a testament to her unwavering commitment to advancing nursing knowledge and practice.

Currently serving as the Director of Occupational Violence Prevention and Management for Canberra Health Services, Dr. Cabilan plays a pivotal role in shaping policies and strategies and advocating for the safety of healthcare professionals. Her dedication to this cause stems from a profound understanding of its far-reaching implications on both individuals and healthcare institutions.

Her efforts have not gone unnoticed, as evidenced by her recognition as the College of Emergency Nurses (CENA) Nurse of the Year in 2022. This prestigious accolade honours Dr. Cabilan’s research on occupational violence in the clinical setting, her leadership in developing the Queensland Occupational Violence Patient Risk Assessment Tool that is adopted in some Australian and international emergency settings and her mentorship to the next generation of nurses, inspiring them to pursue research excellence. 

Through her tireless advocacy for safety and research endeavours, she has shed light on the often-overlooked issue of occupational violence, paving the way for meaningful and sustainable improvements within the healthcare sector.

Dr. CJ Cabilan’s journey exemplifies the spirit of Filipino nursing excellence and serves as an inspiration to nurses worldwide. 

Celebrating Dr. Joy Penman: A Filipino trailblazer in nursing education, research and community engagement

Dr. Joy Penman
Dr. Joy Penman

Dr. Joy Penman’s remarkable career exemplifies excellence in nursing education, research and community engagement.

Dr. Joy Penman is a renowned figure in the nursing profession, holding bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Her academic journey culminated in the completion of her doctoral studies in Nursing, a testament to her dedication to advancing nursing knowledge and practice.

With over thirty-five years of teaching experience both locally and abroad, Joy has played a pivotal role in shaping the next generation of nurses. Her tenure at the School of Nursing and Midwifery, Monash Clayton Campus and the University of South Australia, Whyalla Campus, underscores her commitment to excellence in nursing education.

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In addition to her teaching roles, Joy boasts extensive nursing experience in various healthcare facilities, providing her with invaluable insights into clinical practice and patient care.

Joy’s passion for research and community engagement is evident in her extensive body of work. She has been the recipient of numerous teaching, research and community service awards, recognizing her significant contributions to these areas. Her expertise has also earned her internal and external research funding, allowing her to pursue innovative research projects aimed at improving healthcare outcomes.

Joy’s impact extends beyond academia and research. She is actively involved in the FiND Kalinga program, where she participates in the Cultural Health Champion project. Through this initiative, Joy works tirelessly to promote cultural competence and awareness in healthcare delivery, ensuring that all individuals receive equitable and culturally sensitive care.

As an author and presenter, Joy has shared her insights and research findings in peer-reviewed journals, books and national and international conferences. Her work has not only contributed to the body of nursing knowledge but has also inspired countless nurses to strive for excellence in their own practice.

Highlighting Michelle de Leon: Inspiring excellence in nursing education

Michelle de Leon
Michelle de Leon

Michelle de Leon is a distinguished Filipino nurse whose unwavering dedication to education and research has left an indelible mark on the nursing profession.

Michelle de Leon currently serves as a Senior Lecturer and Acting Deputy Head of Discipline at The University of Notre Dame Australia, where she plays a pivotal role in shaping the minds of future nurses. Prior to her tenure at Notre Dame, Michelle held positions as a lecturer and Undergraduate Course Coordinator at the Australian Catholic University, demonstrating her commitment to fostering excellence in nursing education.

In addition to her teaching responsibilities, Michelle is a PhD candidate at the University of Newcastle, where she is conducting groundbreaking research on the evidence-based management of central venous catheters in the community. Her research endeavours exemplify her dedication to advancing nursing knowledge and improving patient care outcomes.

Michelle’s impressive career trajectory also includes serving as a Nursing Manager at the Health Education and Training Institute (HETI), where she gained invaluable experience in healthcare management and administration. Her leadership skills and clinical expertise have made her a trusted authority in the field, garnering respect and admiration from colleagues and students alike.

Through her tireless commitment to education, research, and healthcare management, Michelle de Leon embodies the spirit of excellence in Filipino nursing on the global stage. Her contributions to the nursing profession not only reflect her passion for patient care but also her commitment to empowering the next generation of nurses to make a positive impact in their communities.

As we honour Filipino Nursing Diaspora Day and International Nursing Week, let us celebrate Michelle de Leon and her fellow Filipino nurses who continue to inspire and uplift the nursing profession through their outstanding contributions and unwavering dedication to excellence.

The Filipino Nursing Diaspora (FiND) Network, based in Sydney, was registered in 2019 and stands as the first international organisation of Filipino nurses. For more information, please visit https://findnetwork.org.

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