I grew up two hours of west of Sydney where I lived with my parents and two older sisters. I went to the local schools and was involved in a lot of sports and community clubs. I have always had an interest in sports, health, travel and helping people, and I love making people laugh – even at my own expense! When I finished school I knew I wanted to do something health-related, but wasn’t exactly sure what, so I took a broad approach and completed a Bachelor of Health with a focus on social determinants and promotion, before making may way to nursing.
Throughout my first degree in health, I discovered that I wanted to work in partnership with people and knew that I wanted to be directly involved in their care, so I started thinking about the areas of nursing and midwifery. I also have a passion and desire to work in community and overseas, working with people within their own cultures so that they can be empowered to take care of their own health and educate others in their community. I thought nursing would work quite well alongside my previous health degree in nurturing this passion.
I chose to study at UTS for a few reasons; location, facilities, course offerings and reputation. Being in the centre of the city meant it was easy to get to from a variety of places. I also went to an Open Day, saw the amazing facilities and was blown away. As I was also interested in midwifery and knew UTS offered that as well as nursing, it meant I could apply for both. Finally, I had heard about the course and the wide range of placements offered from friends who had previously studied here.
The placements toward the end of my degree were the most rewarding part, as they provided me with opportunities to work across a broad range of services – not just in hospitals, but in my particular areas of interest and in a rural setting. It affirmed my passion to work in community and connected me with like-minded clinicians.
There have been many staff that have provided me with great skills throughout my course, however my tutor from Mental Health Nursing, Lisa Townsend, and Family and Children's Health lecturer and tutor, Claire Fraser, were incredibly supportive and passionate about their fields, inspiring me to pursue the area of nursing I am interested in. They also were encouraging of my aspirations, providing me with advice throughout my degree and as I started seeking employment.
Since completing my degree, I took a holiday overseas before starting to work as a new graduate Registered Nurse with NSW Health in February. My program consists of three clinical rotations throughout a 12 month period, with my first rotation in community nursing.
And finally, if I could share anything with future students, it would be that at uni, you will experience times where you think you cannot succeed or something will happen that is out of your control; all you have to do is ask for help – from students, staff, friends and the University. There are so many ways that people and services can help you – financial assistance, counselling and academic help – it’s all there for you. More specifically, in nursing you experience, and are exposed to, situations that many university students will never come across. Just remember it’s not ‘not fair’, but it’s an opportunity to grow. Use the situation, write it down and learn from it. This will teach you how to care for yourself so that you can care for others.