Jessie on Studying Nursing

Djadjawurung Land (St Arnaud, Victoria)
Nursing, Austin Health
Travel around Australia providing health care to rural communities

Knowing I wanted to work in healthcare

From year 12 to uni

I completed my secondary schooling at the local high school in St Arnaud and the majority of my experience was very positive. We had a really small year level and small school but I loved many aspects of rural student life. I enjoyed the smaller class sizes, the personalised attention teachers could give students, the strong sense of community values and blended learning approach. I always knew that I would have to move away from home because I wanted to complete further study at university. Being the eldest of 5 siblings, this was a daunting prospect as noone in my immediate family had left home yet. 

I was lucky enough to be accepted into the Rural Youth Ambassador Program in the final years of my secondary schooling and, although cheesy, I can say it was honestly life changing. Meeting like-minded young people from across Victoria and speaking to senior people in the education sector allowed me to develop my social skills and self-confidence. The program I was involved with was based in Melbourne, which allowed me to have an inner-city experience and enabled me to step outside my comfort zone. I don’t think I would have had the confidence to move away from home or apply to university here if it wasn’t for the program.  

Choosing nursing

I knew that a career in healthcare, specifically nursing, could lead to a career that is interchangeable and diverse. It’s a career that helps you save lives, brings happiness to individuals and their families and comfort to those in need. I have enjoyed caring for patients that come from different age groups, backgrounds and with distinct health issues. In nursing, no two shifts are ever the same and every day is a new challenge. 

Being a graduate nurse

I commenced my nursing career at St. Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne in 2020 where I completed my graduate year. During my 12 months there I completed rotations in Cardiothoracic surgery and Oncology & Hematology. My experience as a graduate nurse was both challenging and rewarding. It was an overwhelming transition from student nurse to graduate registered nurse at times, however, with the support of educators, colleagues, friends and family I was able to become more confident in my own practice.

Bringing my skills back home

After my graduate year, I was successful in securing a position in the Emergency Department at Austin Health where I have started a Masters of Critical Care. My decision to complete post graduate studies is largely due to my interest in increasing my leadership, independence and autonomy. My ultimate goal is to become a Nurse Practitioner and travel around Australia providing healthcare to rural and remote communities. Growing up in regional Victoria, I witnessed first-hand the health disparities that the rural population face due to their geographic location. I hope to one day practice in a rural community similar to my own and assist with the large demand for health care services that many growing regional communities require.  

For anyone interested in nursing 

My advice for those new to the profession or starting their graduate year is to be confident, but ready and willing to learn! Working in healthcare can be a stressful environment at the best of times, so while it can be tough to stay optimistic, do your best to be kind to yourself and support your fellow colleagues.  

My advice for those in high school who are interested in the healthcare industry is to look into part-time work or volunteering at your local hospital or aged care facility, research further education options and find a mentor. Having a mentor in the industry has been an invaluable resource for my own clinical skills development. I would recommend those interested to have a conversation with your local doctor, nurse or allied health professional about their job. Chances are they will be more than happy to share their knowledge and will give you great insight into career advancement and professional development.

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