Passion for practice nursing rewarded

WHEN doctors were telling older patients with chronic disease to exercise at the Carlingford Medical Clinic in Sydney, practice nurse Jenny O’Neill realised there was nowhere for them to do it.

So, the MO Practice Nurse of the Year 2011 decided to take action. She badgered pharmaceutical company Novartis for sponsorship and organised the Heartmoves program – a Heart Foundation scheme – to begin in the nearby community hall.

One hundred patients have now passed through the program, which runs two classes a week.“It’s turned into a real social scene. It’s not just great for their physical health, but their mental health too,” Ms O’Neill says.

“A few of the ladies are quite isolated, even though some live with their families, so they meet for coffee afterwards, which I’m very pleased about.

“I have another lady collecting the money for me and we’ve seen them