Narelle moves up the ladder

Acting Nursing Unit Manager Megan Crain (left) is taking over from Narelle McKenzie (right).

Narelle McKenzie has been a familiar face at the Tumut Hospital for 29 years.

Most recently she’s held the position of Nursing Unit Manager, and has popped around between maternity, emergency, general ward, and theatre for close to three decades.

Her hard work has now been recognised by the Murrumbidgee Local Health District, who have appointed her Community Nurse Manager – giving her responsibility for all community nurses in Tumut, Tumbarumba, Batlow, Adelong, Gundagai, Junee, Boorowa, Harden, Temora, Cootamundra, Deniliquin, Barham, Finley, Tocumwal, Jerilderie and Corowa.

Narelle said she’s excited about the new responsibility – but she’ll miss working on the ground at the Tumut Hospital.

“I will miss all the mothers, babies, patients and families as I have always been very passionate in my role,” she said.

“I would like to acknowledge that our facility has always been considered one of the best in MLHD and this is because of the dedicated staff and doctors that I have had the privilege to work with.

“I know I am leaving the hospital in great hands.”

Narelle’s first day in her new position was Tuesday this week, which she actually described as “calming – compared to my busy acute job!”

“I’m now just in that process of learning a new stream,” she said.

“The role is about making sure community nurses are feeling supported, that they have direction, and that there are systems in place that are continuous across the whole region.”

The staff had a farewell afternoon tea for Narelle last Friday, and welcomed Megan Crain into the Acting Nursing Unit Manager role, which she’ll fill until a permanent replacement is found.

It won’t, however, be the last they see of Narelle.

“I still plan to have morning tea with the staff at least once a week!” she said.