It takes a special person to become a nurse, but Joanne Pearson is a cut above the rest and now her hard work is being recognised.
Ms Pearson has been awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for her services to nursing and the community.
For more than 30 years, Ms Pearson has been looking after patients as a nurse after she decided to follow in her mother's footsteps instead of entering a career in occupational therapy.
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Ms Pearson is a nurse practitioner for oncology and hematology at the Southern Highlands Cancer Centre and attends to all cancer patients.
"I saw patients diagnosed with cancer and I saw the shock and fear in their eyes and thought they needed more nurturing," she said.
"It's an honour to serve them and they're so grateful."
Ms Pearson said she couldn't believe that she had received an OAM.
"When I got the phone call I thought it was a joke," she said.
"I didn't believe it."
Ms Pearson is a nurse at the Southern Highlands Private Hospital and is the nurse practitioner at the Cancer Centre. Prior to that she was the nurse unit manager at the Highlands Cancer Centre for 10 years. She is currently a member in the Southern Highlands Cancer Leadership Committee, Can Assist Southern Highlands and and an organiser for Relay for Life Southern Highlands.