Janelle said she had always wanted to be a nurse but when she finished year 12 she didn’t have the opportunity to pursue this dream.
Instead, she gained a job as Dental Nurse where she worked for about 10 years before getting married and having children – two sets of twins.
She then worked as a Veterinary Nurse at The Hampden Veterinary Clinic in Cobden for six and a half years before deciding to return to study at South West TAFE.
“The time was right for us as a family. The kids were all a bit older and it was something I had always wanted to do.
“I just loved it. The best thing was that before I started the Diploma of Nursing I enrolled in Certificate III in Aged/Community Care and Disability, once I completed this course I was able to gain employment and work within the industry the whole time I was studying,” she said.
Janelle gained a job as a personal carer at Cobden District Health and said the support she received from the staff there was amazing.
“Being able to work in aged care whilst studying was a massive advantage, it was extremely beneficial to my study as I was able to ask any of the Registered/Enrolled nurses and care staff for help during assessments and assignments the staff were always willing to help me where they could. I was able to learn so much from every single one of them and working there made it so much easier to understand the course content as you were constantly applying theory to practice,” she said.
After completing her Diploma of Nursing, Janelle said Cobden District Health employed her immediately as an Endorsed Enrolled Nurse, before she was successful in gaining a five-month graduate position at St John of God Healthcare in Ballarat.
Since completing this role, Janelle was offered a 12-month contract to continue working in the medical and oncology wards.
“I just love it there – I don’t ever want to leave. In the oncology ward I’m working with a team of really experienced and super talented nurses whom have been extremely supportive and I’m learning so much from them,” she said.
Janelle said St John of God was giving her so many opportunities to expand her knowledge and opportunities to work on different wards to further her experience.
She said she hadn’t ruled out continuing study at university to become a Registered Nurse, but at the moment was happy to continue to learn as much as she could in her current role.
Janelle said she had never had any regrets about studying nursing at South West TAFE and would recommend to anyone with a passion to give it a go.
“This course is for all ages. People can come to South West TAFE at any stage of their life and not only study nursing. There are so many options here and the courses are not age-specific which makes coming back into study achievable. We are so lucky to have a facility such as South West TAFE right here in our region,” she said.