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From EN to RN — 3 stories
In 2022, CRANAplus administered Country Women’s Association Rural and Remote Nursing/Midwifery Professional Development grants. Three Enrolled Nurses who successfully applied relate here how the grant is helping them to become Registered Nurses.
Expanding her knowledge about nursing is a key driver for Enrolled Nurse Jessica Theoharidis (pictured right), who will use her grant money for a placement in an emergency ward in Mildura, as part of her training to become an RN.
“I am always about learning new skills, gaining new experiences,” says Jessica, whose future plans are focussed on working in theatre. “That’s a whole new style of nursing. You can’t just walk into those kinds of jobs.
“I was very fortunate to have the opportunity in a previous placement to observe theatre work. The doctor explained what he was doing, had me looking over his shoulder. And that experience convinced me that was the direction I wanted to go in.”
Jessica’s decision to become a nurse came after working as a disability care worker upon leaving school.
“I loved that work, I love looking after people, but realised I had to move on if I wanted to progress,” she says. “Half way through my first year training as an enrolled nurse, I knew this was what I wanted to do.”
Jessica, who grew up in Broken Hill, is currently working in the surgical ward at the local hospital and hopes to get a new graduate placement there when she has finished her studies.
Enrolled Nurse Eve Ballard (pictured right) plans to be Julia Creek’s next Registered Nurse.
“I’m studying my Bachelor of Nursing externally full-time through James Cook University and working full-time, and have now taken on midwifery thanks to this grant,” says Eve.
This doesn’t give her much free time, but Eve has a purpose. Nursing runs in the family.
“My mother Mauried was an incredible clinical nurse for over 40 years,” she says. “I hope to be half as good a nurse as she was. She is my inspiration.”
Eve first discovered Julia Creek, a four-hour drive from Mount Isa in Queensland, during a year-long solo trip around the state during the pandemic. She thought the little town, population around 500 and surrounded by cattle country, was cute. Returning home to Brisbane, the first Enrolled Nurse position she spotted was in… Julia Creek.
“It was meant to be,” says Eve, who has been there for two years, made many friends and settled down.
“There are only four permanent Registered Nurses in Julia Creek. I want to be the fifth.”
“I believe my career is just starting,” says Eve, who gives credit to “the great support around me, pushing me to succeed.”
Community nursing is a passion for EN Mel, who grew up in Sydney but took the first opportunity she could to move to the country where she worked in numerous remote locations
A third year student, Mel is working in the beautiful Mid North Coast in a community role which takes her to areas from Taree to Coffs Harbour and as far west as Armidale.
Mel will be using her grant to access essential training to provide the best possible emergency care when needed, she says.
“Rural nursing within small communities is where my passion lies, and where I will remain long after completing my degree,” she says.
“You can’t compare the breadth of learning and the experiences you get in a setting like our community,” she says. “In the regions your tasks are so varied, from wound care to palliative care. I have already been called upon to deliver emergency care until ambulance arrival.”
This scholarship is a big help towards the cost of accommodation and travel, which student nurses have to find each time they attend a course or undertake a placement. Mel will use her grant money towards her final clinical placement, hopefully in a rural emergency setting where she can gain even further skills.
For more information on grants and scholarships available through CRANAplus, visit Awards, Scholarships & Grants.