Most university students think – certainly I know my majority of my friends do – that ANMF membership is only for hospital nurses and midwives. They were unaware that you can join as a student.
I became an ANMF student member because I know if I’m in a situation where I’m unfairly disadvantaged, I have the union in my corner.
Due to COVID-19 in 2020 my university kept cancelling our placements without communicating to students. I contacted the union and they advocated on behalf of student members to ensure my uni improved communications about placement changes.
Not only do they support us professionally, but they also do academically. All student members having access to online library and study resources, including CINAHL and ProQuest databases and borrowing textbooks. In non-pandemic times you can also visit the Branch Library and use the computers and study.
The pandemic has highlighted just how important nurses and midwives are. I believe we must continue the fight to improve standards like the many nurses and midwives before us have done, such as the 1986 50-day strike. I joined the union as a first year so that I can be part of this movement.
Things only change when people fight for them, and the more students engage from early on, means better working conditions for us when we finally enter the hospital system.