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Choosing a career in nursing enriches your life and the lives of others every single day.


The role offers diverse opportunities and challenges; it can take you around the world, connect you to people through caring for them, being there in some of their most vulnerable moments, and nursing patients back to health, it can teach you endless things about yourself and others. In fact, being a nurse brings you so much more
than you may have imagined.


For Alysha and Clancy, their journeys to becoming Registered Nurses were very different, but along the same lines, both were passionate, determined and motivated to join the nursing sector and care for patients.


As we approached the end of our schooling years, we can all remember the apprehension of choosing what to do next and worrying whether we were making the right decision. Registered Nurse, Alysha says that she always knew she wanted to be in the medical sector and be around people. After tossing around the idea of becoming a paramedic, spending time at the hospital during an injury drove her to choose a career in nursing.


“I spent two weeks in hospital, no one I came across was unpleasant and I just thought wow, I really want to do this because everyone was so great. I wanted to do something that revolved around people, I wanted to care for them and follow their journeys.”


Although Alysha was set on becoming a nurse, the time she had to take off school due to her injury led to disappointing marks in her final exams. Before she knew it, she felt her dream career passing her by, with no options or ideas on how to pursue her passion. It wasn’t until she spoke to a friend about her situation that she discovered she could choose a different path that would still allow her to pursue her goal.


“I had a meeting at Canberra Institute of Technology (CIT) and was accepted. I studied full time there to do my enrolled nursing course. I loved it and knew it was what I wanted to do. Then I worked as an enrolled nurse and got into university to become a Registered Nurse. I then went on to get my Nursing degree.”


“My pathway was a bit unusual because I didn’t get straight into university after school but I’m really happy with how it’s worked out because I was able to learn a lot while I was studying.”

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While some of us may follow the same career for the rest of our lives, for others finding their true vocation will grow out of their passions, or they may need help to discover a new one and the drive to move on and change. For Registered Nurse, Clancy, that’s exactly what happened.

“I was a chef for eight years and it got to the point where I just knew I didn‘t want to cook anymore. I wanted to do something to help people who actually needed help, whether it saved their life or just improved their quality of life.”

“I was always interested in the health and medical sector. My mum worked in aged care so I was exposed to it from an early age. I was adamant that I wanted to work within the health sector, I just needed time to think and ask myself ‘is this really what I want to do’ before jumping in.”


After looking into nursing and discovering the many different opportunities, career progressions and specialisations available, Clancy enrolled to do his Certificate III and IV in Aged Care. Later, he enrolled at university to gain his degree that led him to become a Registered Nurse.


However, the journey doesn’t stop when you get your certificate or degree, it only just begins. When you choose to become a Registered Nurse, you work in one of the most sought-after healthcare positions in Australia, providing compassionate care for those who need it most – your patients.


With many responsibilities in what can be a high-stress environment, the path you choose, once you step foot in your first nursing role, is just as important as the path that got you there in the first place.


For Alysha, joining the ANMF ACT Branch as a student, and then as a registered practitioner, allowed her to gain access to a supportive network of people.


“There’s so much you’re not able to do as an individual and sometimes you just need people that can help and that are working to help support you in the background. They’re going to be there for you in the tough times, and the good times. You might as well just go out and be part of something knowing that if anything happens, you can be confident that someone has your back, is there to support you and is always in your corner.”


For Clancy, it was about choosing a path that would protect him and make him comfortable in his role: “My Workplace Delegate was telling me about hypothetical situations and how it was important to be a union member because I would never have to go through anything on my own should anything happen. I joined halfway through my graduate program; I know how important it is for my job.”


As Clancy and Alysha continue following their own journeys as Registered Nurses, more awareness and discussions need to be had about the opportunities that come with the job and within the sector. With the need for more nurses steadily increasing, being open about the good, the bad and the ugly that comes with the job will assist and encourage others to join the nursing and midwifery professions.