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Nursing graduate steps up to new challenge

/ Success Story
Hamilton nurse Stacy Wishart is stepping up to a new challenge after setting a good base for success.

Ms Wishart is undertaking her grad year at Western District Health Service (WDHS) after completing her two-year nursing diploma at the Hamilton campus of South West TAFE.

Now she has been chosen as the only enrolled nurse graduate to be included in the hospital’s acute care rotation as she eyes a return to further study.

For Ms Wishart the success is the culmination of a long-held dream of becoming a nurse and specialising in midwifery.

Her success stems back to an allied health assistant course through South West TAFE and placement at a Casterton aged care facility when still at school. “Doing the Cert III was the beginning of my nursing career and really pushed me to want to achieve my goals. From there I was set on doing the diploma of nursing,” she said.

Ms Wishart had planned to take a gap year after finishing school, but the lure of a Free TAFE diploma was too strong.

“I was going to do it anyway but had been considering a gap year, but when it became a free course, I went for it,” she said.

Ms Wishart said she believed a diploma was the best way to get a grounding in nursing basics.

“It was a great course and we had great teachers who provided a lot of support and education,” she said. “I had a really good experience the whole way through, including great placements in Hamilton, Portland and Warrnambool.”

A placement to The Birches through WDHS led to ongoing work as a healthcare worker. “Once I graduated, I applied for the grad year and already had a foot in the door because of that placement opportunity,” she said.

After doing her grad year, Ms Wishart aims to continue study to become a Registered Nurse and to specialise in midwifery.

She believes doing a diploma is the best possible start, and her degree will include recognition of prior learning.

“After listening to nurses who went to school before me, I thought it would be best to start with the diploma because you learn so many essential skills for nursing. The course really focuses on basic skills that might be passed over in a bachelor degree.”

“It cemented everything for me about caring for people.”

While her long-term goal is midwifery, Ms Wishart is enjoying the additional acute care rotation.

“It’s very busy but with a lot more variety,” she said.