Transitioning to Nursing at UTS
I decided to study registered nursing because,
after doing our enrolled nursing course, I thought it would be great to continue on studying.
Being a mature aged student, I thought while I’m studying I’m just going to carry on doing
this because, in the study mode, brain’s prepared for everything.
I’m interesting in a career in nursing. A long term career. So you need to have a degree
if you want to get any of those promotion positions like nurse specialist, nurse educator.
Any of those sort of things you need to be at least a registered nurse.
I see myself in nursing in terms of I’d like to go in to aged care. I’d really like to
do that. I have a strong passion for aged care. I believe that there’s a great need
for nurses in the aged care environment. I see myself as an ICU nurse or staying in
recovery and anaesthetics. I like psychogeriatrics. So that’s where I’ve
been for five years now. So I’m going to continue working there if I can.
I would love to run a unit. But with saying that, I don’t want to be off the floor because
I love spending times with the patients. So I definitely want to do my CNS when I finished
and maybe become a nurse educator as well. I chose UTS as the university to go to because
they had a very good reputation, almost from the word go.
I chose UTS because I’d heard great things about their nursing program and that they
had state of the art facilities. I also had one of my brothers go to UTS and he had great
things to say about it as well. I chose UTS because there was only four semesters
and no summer school. At UTS for students coming from TAFE that
have recently finished their enrolled nursing diploma, we offer a two year accelerated program.
It means that students, instead of doing a full three year full-time course, are able
to start and finish their course in two years. A whole year knocked off a full program.
I have a couple of hot tips that would be applicable to people coming from TAFE through
to university. First and foremost, don’t be overwhelmed about everything. It’s always
going to be a [freak out] every now and again with going to a new place, having so many
other people around you. To doing a small amount of study on a daily, if not every couple
of hours a week type thing just because it’s going to make your life easier in the long
run. Be organised, you know. Get a calendar or
a good diary or something like that and work out exactly when things are due and when exams
are on and stuff like that. Some of the challenges I faced when I started
at UTS were balancing work life, personal life and uni work. It took me a while but
I realised 16 hours of part-time work and making sure I had a good work like personal
life balance was important. We really love enrolled nurses and TAFE graduates
in our nursing courses. Because they come to our degree with a whole lot of passion
for nursing and a whole lot of passion for the health profession. If they want to, to
be able to keep working within their health environments while they’re studying, we think
that that’s great. Because it will make sure that when we extend their skill base then
they can immediately put those things in to practice.
We do suggest though that you don’t try and work full-time and study full-time because
that is immensely stressful for you. You need some time to actually be able to have some
out of hours study at home and not feel like you’re letting your employer down or you’re
not putting enough in to your studies. Some of the challenges I faced was feeling
like I wasn’t ready for that big jump in to university. It seemed like such a big thing.
I found out though that everyone was there to help. No question was a stupid question.
Essay writing for me was a bit of a worry. I used the HELPS service which was really
reassuring for me and helped give me clarity on what was required at the uni level. Also
making friends was such a big difference. It helped in all aspects and we can help each
other out when we’re not sure and just having that social element to be able to relax with
friends as well is really important. In the first year of nursing we offer all
students a variety of supports. They are social supports and academic supports. We don’t expect
you to be an expert in writing essays when you first come through the door. We want to
assist you to become more confident in that. So your first subjects, we’ll actually spend
some time walking you through those processes and giving lots of feedback in terms of those
kind of things. There are also additional free services that
are university wide for students to go in and get extra assistance. Both with their
academic work and with any other issues that are cropping up during their studies. So that
can be personal issues or medical issues. There are doctors and counsellors, financial
assistance that are able to be accessed by all of our students at UTS.