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From EN to RN  — 3 stories

9 Dec 2022

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.

Sup­plied by Mel.

For more infor­ma­tion on grants and schol­ar­ships avail­able through CRANAplus, vis­it Awards, Schol­ar­ships & Grants.