On International Nurses Day, we want to celebrate the incredible nurses who deliver compassionate, quality care to residents and clients across our Juniper community.

This year’s theme, Our Nurses, Our Future, aims to shine a light on nurses and how they play a vital role as decision-makers in the delivery and funding of healthcare.

Meet Liz Frehner, an experienced Registered Nurse who moved into the role of Residential Manager of Juniper Riverslea Residential Aged Care Home in Mount Lawley.

Four years ago, Juniper was lucky enough to secure the experience and skill of Registered Nurse and Curtin University lecturer Liz Frehner, who now not only steers the helm as Residential Manager of Juniper Riverslea Residential Aged Care Home but also helped spearhead the original response to COVID-19 and acted as a mentor for nurses across Juniper.

After spending a decade teaching nursing students at Curtin University’s School of Nursing and Midwifery, Liz yearned to return to the place where her career began many years ago as a nurse in aged care.

In 2019, Liz made her return to the frontline, joining Juniper Charles Jenkins Transitional Care facility as an RN.

“I wanted to go back to working directly with patients and residents again,” she said.

“What I love most about being a nurse in aged is the relationships I build with residents, staff and family. I get great satisfaction in knowing the residents well so I can provide direct care to meet their needs and wants.”

Since joining Juniper, Liz has been called on to step into a variety of roles where she could apply her many years of knowledge, wisdom and experience.

In 2021, Liz took on the role of Residential Manager at Juniper Riverslea before being called on to support Juniper Cygnet in Bentley after it became the first residential aged care home in WA to experience a COVID-19 outbreak.

During her stint at Cygnet, Liz provided guidance and support to the Residential Manager and team, drawing from her experience in Infection Prevention and Control.

In addition to managing Juniper Riverslea, Liz also channels her passion for clinical education through mentoring new or recently graduated nurses as part of Juniper’s Transition to Practice Program.

Drawing from her teaching experience at Curtin University, Liz said being part of the program allows her to continue doing what she loves both on the frontline and in the education space.

“Before I joined Juniper I was at Curtin University, where I taught undergraduate nurses for 10 years,” Liz said.

“Then when I came to Juniper, working on the frontline made me realise how important it is to nurture and mentor the next cohort of new nurses.

“We need fresh, innovative staff in aged care to keep our care standards high and bring new ideas and enthusiasm to the industry.”

Liz said supporting new nurses in aged care is crucial.

“It’s a tough environment and nurses need to work autonomously yet maintain safety and standards,” she said.

“A structured program is the best way to ensure graduate and new nurses get ongoing support within the organisation.”

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