Two Lutheran nurses have been honoured by the Lutheran Nurses Association of Australia (LNAA). Angela Uhrhane, of Wodonga, Victoria, was named the inaugural Lutheran Nurse of the Year, while Lynette Wiebusch, of Adelaide, was named an honorary LNAA Life Member.
The awards were officially announced on 12 May – International Nurses Day, which this year is the 200th anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale.
Angela serves as Pastoral Care Nurse at Lutheran Aged Care Albury (LAC), in New South Wales. The award comprises a certificate and a gift of $100.
LAC Managing Director Wendy Rocks, said over several years while LAC was without a chaplain, Angela ‘took the lead role in organising a schedule of visiting pastors to provide services and the sacraments over this extended period’.
‘This was a tremendous feat of organisation on Angela’s behalf, coordinating as she was, the pastoral care team and work at LAC at the same time’, she said.
‘Angela was an active part of the management team during these two years, and was a source of ideas and beneficial discussion about resident care and spiritual care particularly.’
Wendy also said Angela had ‘participated in considerable study, both theological and clinical, to support her practice’.
‘She has been a leader in helping to establish a spiritual care framework as part of the policy and practice at LAC, embedding a comprehensive spiritual assessment of each resident within our resident care policy and practice. She devised and conducted the training for our registered nurses and admissions staff in this regard.’
Angela has served as pastoral care nurse at congregations in Wodonga and Perth. Last year she was appointed to the LCA’s Committee for Ministry with the Ageing and the board of the ecumenical Australian Faith Community Nurses Association. In addition to her nursing qualifications, she has a Graduate Diploma in Theology in Parish Nursing from Luther Seminary (now Australian Lutheran College).
Lynette Wiebusch was LNAA’s founding president and served in that role for 10 years, as well as editing the LNAA newsletter IN TOUCH from 1992 to 2018. She was responsible for introducing the concept of what is now known as pastoral care nursing to the LCA, and was the LCA’s first pastoral care nurse, serving at both Mount Barker and Dernancourt, in South Australia. She was a founding board member of the ecumenical Australian Faith Community Nurses Association and chaired the board for several years. She was also a founding board member for the global network, Lutheran Parish Nurses International. She was one of the first three graduates in Luther Seminary’s Graduate Diploma in Theology (Faith Community Nursing) and co-wrote LNAA’s Introduction to Pastoral Care Nursing course. Last year, the Parish Nursing Council of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod in the United States adopted this course as its distance education program.