Meet RAN Merewyn: Life as a remote area nurse

3min read

RAN Merewyn

20 years nursing experience

Wonder what it’s involved as a remote area nurse? RAN Merewyn has spent many years working in WA and most recently, the Northern Territory.  

Perhaps this could be the next step you take into a different kind of nursing.

Take a look at her story and advice for anyone keen on embarking on life as a remote area nurse! 

1. How has your time been in the Northern Territory?

I travel with my Husband and dog, we love the NT, there is so much to see and do. Despite what you read, most people are really friendly and welcoming.

2. What does a typical day at work look like as a Remote Area Nurse? 

A RAN is predominantly a Primary Health Nurse, however, needs to be ready for any emergency that walks through the door. 

Usually, you have your own clinic room to see patients and there is an Emergency Department for ED presentations.  

There are usually 1-2 others at the clinic and there are doctors visiting at times.  

You do lots of door-to-door visits and this is a great opportunity to get to know people in an environment they are comfortable in.

3. What made you choose Rural & Remote as a Nursing career? 

Variety! This was the main reason and there has been lots of it.

Also, autonomy and new learning opportunities.

4. How should nurses prepare mentally or practice self-care for a remote placement? 

Make sure you have things to do when you are not working. There is often not much to do. However, when there is, get involved. 

Think of yourself as a guest don’t try to change things and don’t talk about how it’s done elsewhere, just go with the flow. 

5. You are on your 11th placement with us – how have you found remote work with Affinity enriches your character? 

It has been humbling, it’s easy to be good at something when you are there for a long time. However, I have learned to be gracious when corrected, brave when out of my depth and calm in the face of uncertainty.

6. Do you have a favourite photo to share? What’s the story behind it? 

My husband and I particularly enjoyed our time in the Aṉangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) lands. It was a privilege to be on their land and a challenge during a COVID outbreak.

My husband had work in Admin and as a driver, and we were able to get to know the community. This photo is one of our favourites. 

7. What advice would you give to nurses who are interested in doing remote nursing

Do it! It is a great way to see the country and meet people you wouldn’t normally speak to.  

Carry electronic copies of all documents and be organised with professional certifications etc., and be prepared for lots of self-directed learning. 

Be bold, talk to strangers, give everything a go. 

You may be eligible for our transition pathway to rural & remote nursing.

If you’re prepared to try a different kind of work this specialty holds, reach out to your consultant today! 

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