We are returning once again to the report published earlier this year – Palliative Care – Celebrating Nurses Contributions. Today, we are highlighting the work of Nicoletta Mitrea from Romania features in the chapter on Education.
Nicoleta is actively involved in organising, supervising and teaching all the subjects in palliative care at all three levels of education: basic, advanced and specialised. She coordinates the national specialisation programme for nurses that work in palliative care services. She started her nursing career at a very young age in the paediatric hospital. December 1998 marked the beginning of an unexpected fruitful career in Palliative Nursing, when she joined the Hospice “Casa Sperantei” (HCS) as a home care nurse. Her knowledge, abilities and revolutionary style has been increasingly polished and appreciated.
Currently Nicoleta leads the education and clinical practice of palliative care nurses in HCS, other palliative care services around the country and in several Eastern European countries. Nicoleta graduated from the multidisciplinary Masters Programme in palliative care in 2012 and the Medical Doctoral Studies in November 2017. Since 2020 she has been a Senior Lecturer at the University of Transylvania in Brasov. She never stopped caring for patients and is currently performing her clinical duties in the lympheodema and breast cancer care clinic. Since 2016, she has run marathons to fundraise for free-of-charge care delivered by HCS to patients (children and adults) and their families. She was instrumental in developing palliative care as a specialty for nurses in Romania which was approved for nurses by the Ministry of Health in 2017. 77 palliative care specialist nurses graduated in 2019 and 76 in 2020. The biggest challenges Nicoleta has faced were to get herself taken seriously not only by other professionals, particularly physicians, but also her peers. She constantly had to prove herself in terms of professional clinical competencies, knowledge proficiencies, educational, leadership and advocacy capabilities.
She believes in investing in the nurses around her, making the most of the time people have available, stepping out of her comfort zone, and going beyond limits. She realises you must accept that you cannot reach sustainable success working alone, so invest in team building. And importantly, be you!