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Toowoomba local achieves nursing dream while on dialysis

Announcement posted by Anglicare Southern Queensland 12 May 2022

Earlier last year Symes Thorpe Clinical Educator and Registered Nurse Sheryl Kupfer completed her master’s degree at the University of Southern Queensland while on dialysis. 

TODAY is International Nurses Day which is celebrated all around the world to acknowledge the important roles nurses play in our society. 

Earlier last year Symes Thorpe Clinical Educator and Registered Nurse Sheryl Kupfer completed her master’s degree at the University of Southern Queensland while on dialysis.  

“I was inspired because I had extra time and wanted to give back. The nurses I was surrounded by during my treatment were extraordinary and I felt I could give back in that way to the community,” Sheryl said.  

Symes Thorpe Clinical Educator and Registered Nurse Sheryl Kupfer is one of many nurses being celebrated today on International Nurses Day. Photo: Anglicare Southern Queensland

“I was inspired to do my masters in aged care because I wanted to learn more about what we can do for our residents, and it has given me a better insight into aged care. 

“International Nurses Day is a day when our nursing colleagues take a moment to reflect on the importance of our roles.” 

Sheryl has inspired many of her colleagues with her determination and positive attitude as she completed her nursing degree while on dialysis for a kidney transplant. 

From doing cleaning to working in the mines and then working at the newsagent, Sheryl has tried her hand at various jobs before finding her passion in aged care. 

For those considering a nursing career, Sheryl said “… to follow your dreams.”  

“I would tell them to follow their dreams. Start today because time goes away, and this has been a goal of mine since I finished school. It is never too late, but you get there faster, the sooner you begin,” she said.  

Sheryl said she found it quite a challenge finishing her degree while on dialysis as it often made her fatigued, having spent 18 hours a week hooked up to a machine. 

“I was on dialysis for four years and three months until I had a transplant, and it was the nurses at the dialysis unit who helped me if I had any trouble with my study,” she said. 

“I was hooked up to a machine for five hours a day, three times a week and then one day for three hours a week. 

“It was a challenging period, but I just considered that it was my treatment that I had to have until I had my transplant.” 

Working alongside Sheryl is Clinical Nurse Aman who has been in her role for the past 10 years. 

To Aman, the day is very important as it acknowledges the challenging work that all nurses and those in frontline positions do each and every day. 

“I love coming into work every day and looking after our residents,” she said.  

“I chose this profession as I really wanted to make a difference and to help support our elderly when they can’t do it themselves. 

“To me being a nurse is all about teamwork and working together as a team to help one another.”  

In celebration of International Nurses Day, we would like to thank Sheryl and Aman, and all of our incredible nurses right across the state, for their hard work, dedication, and the invaluable role they play in the lives of so many Queenslanders every day. 

Media Contacts

Philippe Coquerand

Communications and Content Officer

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