Phil Mauger - Clinical Nurse Consultant

Phil Mauger smiling at a University event

Image courtesy Dr David Foley

Phil Mauger is a Clinical Nurse Consultant specialising in paediatric haematology and oncology. He worked for 12 years at the Women's and Children's Hospital in Adelaide, South Australia and is now at Townsville University Hospital, Queensland.

With extensive experience in senior leadership roles in haematology/oncology, he has also worked across palliative care, paediatric medicine, high acuity care, surgical care, chemotherapy management and end of life care.

Phil is a valued member of Adelaide Nursing School Alumni Committee, sharing his knowledge and best practice. With a bachelor's degree in nursing and a master's degree in cancer and haematology nursing, he has now moved interstate for work, and will soon travel overseas; this year he’s heading to Africa SIOP (International Society of Paediatric Oncology) Congress in Johannesburg. The opportunity will help him establish ongoing professionally supportive relationships, provide expert specialised nursing education and clinical advice, and support staff working in countries that have limited access to education and clinical support, particularly in nursing. 

Even as a passionate and skilled paediatric nurse and dedicated mentor to newer nurses, Phil admits his career hasn't been without challenges. From working as the director of a nursing unit during the COVID pandemic, recently moving interstate to become a senior clinical expert in a regional town, to finishing his postgraduate studies, there have been moments that have tested his resilience and helped him to expand his clinical, professional and personal skillset. 

Motivated to improve lives, Phil says that one of his proudest achievements has been dedicating his life to the service of others. Alongside his wedding and the births of his two daughters, finishing his two degrees, "providing life-saving treatments", and "seeing patients complete treatment and leave the hospital cancer free" are among the things that make this dedicated nurse most proud. 

Outside of work, the most important part of Phil's life is his family, and he spends as much time with them as he can. To help him unwind after the hard days at the hospital, he likes to read a good sci-fi or fantasy novel. "I find the escape from reality a great way to transition my busy working mind to a more relaxed mode when I’m at home with my family," he says.

Phil shares some of his history, motivations and personal ambitions in his own words. 

Did you always have an interest in nursing?

"From an early age I wanted to pursue a career in health care, at first a doctor, but as I grew older I realised nurses were at the bedside providing daily cares for patients and that’s where I wanted to be.

"My mother having been diagnosed and treated for Lymphoma when I was seven years old definitely re-enforced my 'hero' image of nurses and doctors. I held a deep sense of gratitude towards the profession as a whole, and in my teen years I started to view nursing as an opportunity to dedicate my life to the service of other people."

What motivates you?

"As a paediatric nurse, having children of my own has become a strong motivation, because the way I see it, if my kids were ever ill I would want dedicated, hardworking nurses providing high quality care, and so I endeavour to deliver that same standard to my patients. I’m also motivated by my passion to support my colleagues, particularly junior nurses, see them learn, thrive and develop into excellent nurses."

A portrait of Phil in his scrubs

What do you remember of your university days? 

"An easy-going environment, with very interesting and thought-provoking classes on a wide variety of interesting topics – I remember being exposed to almost every specialty imaginable, and getting a taste for each really polarised my decisions and allowed me to make informed choices about my career pathway."

What advice would you give to someone considering a nursing career?

"Don’t be afraid to commit to a specialty or a field, and give it your all. The opportunities in front of you may not be the ones you have hoped for, but you never know where they may lead. You can’t be guided if you’re not moving – so even if your 'dream job' seems out of reach or not available, take the best opportunities in front of you and throw yourself into them. You will be guided to where you’re needed and want to be – trust the process."

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