Becoming a Nurse – You can do it!

June '18

By The Scribbling Nurse


My name’s Rachel and I just finished my Bachelor of Nursing degree. I mean, I’ve finally finished my Bachelor of Nursing degree because it took a while but I got there. And so can you!


Types of Nursing

Nursing is a very broad field in which you can find a speciality that would suit you and your lifestyle. 


Maybe you like working in a team so perhaps a hospital might suit you? Do you like having independence and making decisions? Community or remote nursing might be up your alley.


Like kids? Paediatrics! Don’t like kids so much? Adult health! 


Nurse Rachel with a baby


Interested in nursing but don’t actually want to deal with patients? Or blood? Or guts? You can explore Risk Management, Case Management or even legal nurse consulting. 



A common theme amongst people considering nursing is questioning their ability to be able to understand what is being taught and if they can make the sacrifices required to study through university. 

So, first of all, let me tell you that you ARE smart enough to study nursing because you will get taught what you need to know. As long as you can make the time each week to read lecture notes, do your own research and learn to write essays, you can learn nursing. And if you start out wanting to be nurse, chances are you are passionate about serving the community and helping people. 


Nursing Study Tips

Now here are two tips that I learnt while studying: 


  • Only do the activities that are graded. So many students waste a lot of time and energy agonising over tasks that aren’t contributing to their overall grade. If they help you learn then by all means, go for it. However, be mindful of how much time you are putting into graded vs non-graded activities.

  • Use the universities online library rather than buying loads of textbooks. This will save you hundreds of dollars. 


They may not work for you, so when you start your course, do things the way you want to do them and the way you feel comfortable learning.



Clinical Placements

Clinical placements are probably the most daunting time of a nursing degree. These are the full-time placements in hospitals, clinics, GP’s and if you can (and I highly recommend it) remote Aboriginal nursing. You are required to complete at least 880 hours of clinical placement to register with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (all clinicians must be registered with AHPRA in order to practice) so your university will arrange for you to attend 2-4 week blocks for certain units. 


Sometimes you might not be able to get a placement at the hospital nearest to you, so if you can, travel, even if it’s for one or two placements. If you are nervous about clinical placements, remember you are there to learn, so you’re not expected to know everything. Ask lots of questions and be keen to try things out; you’ll always be supervised and guided. 

An outback ambulanceRachel travelling to Devils Marbles


I’m thrilled I have completed my Bachelor of Nursing degree because I’ve already been offered some opportunities I may never have had otherwise. It is an investment in your future and worth making some sacrifices so you can pursue a career you will love. Go for it!


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