Thirty years ago when she was still in high school, Krambach’s Audrey Morrison dreamed of being a nurse.
Last year, after a 30-year roller coaster career journey, Audrey achieved her goal with the support of TAFE NSW and a NSW Health scholarship.
Audrey, who didn’t complete Year 12, previously worked in a diverse range of positions including as a barmaid and a farm hand, and in workplaces ranging from a cake shop to a nursing home. She spent a great deal of her working life as a medical clerk in the RAAF.
“I was working part time in administration at TAFE NSW Taree and was exposed to the wide range of courses on offer,” Audrey said.
“While I was telling potential students about all the benefits and opportunities available to TAFE students, it hit me that ‘I’ was also a potential student. The hardest part was showing confidence in myself to take on the diploma course and working towards that lifelong dream.”
I like a challenge and change, and with my children reaching their teens, I thought ‘here is my chance to realise my high school career dream’.Audrey Morrison
Audrey says that working at TAFE led to her finding out about the Diploma of Nursing (Enrolled Nurse) scholarships offered by NSW Health, in partnership with TAFE NSW and NSW Health Registered Training Organisation. The scholarships include a position in the TAFE NSW Diploma of Nursing program and employment as an enrolled nurse in a NSW Health Facility.
As a mature-age student, Ms Morrison found the study was a challenge for her.
“I like a challenge and change, and with my children reaching their teens, I thought ‘here is my chance to realise my high school career dream’,” Audrey said.
“A lot of the other students were nearly half my age, and soaked up the learning more quickly, but the beauty of being that bit older is that I was able to draw from my life experiences and employ them in a more practical sense, which is really important in nursing as it’s such a hands on occupation.”
What have you got to lose? A step forward is a step towards turning your dreams into reality.Audrey Morrison
Thanks to the 400 hours of work placement at Manning Base Hospital delivered through the TAFE nursing program, Audrey was able to start work there as an enrolled nurse from mid-2017.
“Because I can be flexible in my work hours and shifts, I am now studying my nursing degree via distance and online, with the goal of becoming a registered nurse and moving into other areas of nursing, such as practice manager for a GP or specialist,” Audrey said.
Studying the diploma at TAFE meant Audrey had already completed a year of her degree studies.
“With such a study load at home, that year under my belt was a great relief,” she said.
Ms Morrison encourages anyone thinking of a career change to ‘go for it’.
“What have you got to lose? A step forward is a step towards turning your dreams into reality.”
Visit www.tafe.nsw.edu.au or call 131601 to find out more about a career in nursing.