-- A woman who was called 'just a nurse' has sparked a conversation around the world about the value of nursing.
Caitlin Brassington, of Toowoomba, Australia, posted on Facebook that one day last week after work she was in a grocery store, wearing her scrubs, when she ran into an old friend who said she hadn't realized that Brassington was "just a nurse."
"Wow! Over my 18 year career I have heard this phrase many, many time[s], but today it got to me," wrote Brassington, 38, in a now-viral Facebook post that's received more than 19,000 likes.
Brassington went on to gives example of how important nurses are to their patients and communities.
"I have helped babies into the world, many of whom needed assistance to take their first breath, and yet I am just a nurse," she wrote. "I have held patients hands and ensured their dignity while they take their last breath, and yet I am just a nurse. I have counselled grieving parents after the loss of a child, and yet I am just a nurse."
A pediatric nurse who has been in the profession more than nine years, Brassington told ABC News she's "heard this phrase said many times before," but for some reason was moved in this instance to speak out.
The a mother of three added that many don't realize how the role of nurses has evolved over the last 50 years, "particularly with advances in technology and advanced training."
"I think more than ever nurses now have a partnership with doctors and are a vital component of the health care teams," she said.
In the U.S. alone, there are more than 2.7 million nurses, according to 2014 statistics from the United States Department of Labor.
Brassington said her post was on behalf of nurses around the globe.
"It has started a worldwide conversation about how we value and respect certain service industries within communities," she told ABC News. "I think this conversation is long overdue."