career

Mamamia asked 10 nurses to reflect on their love for their career. These are their stories.

Charles Darwin University
Thanks to our brand partner, Charles Darwin University

There is one thing on which we can universally agree.   

If any of us have experienced any visits or stays in hospital, we all know that our frontline nurses are the true heroes of our time; the walking angels on earth among us. 

The last few years we've just experienced has many of us pondering returning to study and advancing our careers, where you can really make a difference to people’s lives. That's where Charles Darwin University is really the place to study for postgraduate Nursing or Health, if you want to specialise in an area you're really passionate about (like mental health, epidemiology or aged care).

Their most sparkly benefit? Being able to study 100 per cent online. You can study from anywhere within Australia remotely – ideal for parents juggling family and work – so taking that next career step a whole lot more manageable.  

Mamamia spoke to 10 nurses across Australia about why they chose a career in nursing, and to reflect on the love they have for the rewarding work they do.

Here’s exactly what they told us.

Zoe, Special Health Accommodation, COVID-19 Response

“I feel like there is a Zoe pre-nursing and post-nursing degree. I now know that it was the right time to find my ‘soul’ job after years in the private sector.

“I was so grateful for the opportunity to do lectures online when I did my postgraduate degree, as it’s the only way I could do further study and change my life (and my family’s life) for the better, and be able to even juggle it all. It only took me three years to work up into management since completing it, so I was able to get there quickly after specialising. 

“To be able to help people through a time when they're most vulnerable is really an incredible job. Coming into nursing has been a gift for me, and I feel like I worked my whole life to be in this place I am now, at 39 years old.”

Image: Getty.

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Jessica, Oncology

"It's very diverse. Once you have a Bachelor of Nursing, you can just go so many places (and even head back for postgraduate study to specialise!). For example, mental health nursing, intensive care, orthopaedic trauma, renal nursing and dialysis. There's so much diversity.

"You can become a Botox Nurse and do injectables, or can go and work in a clinic, if you prefer 9 to 5. You can become very specialised in a certain area and then swap to another if you need a change. I love having that option.”

Kate, Intensive Care Unit

“I've been a nurse for six and a half years now and during that time, I did a postgraduate degree, which took a year, while I was still working full-time. 

“In nursing, there are just so many options and branches. It’s never boring. If you feel stale in one area you can easily move into another. Already, I've done so many different roles in different areas. 

“And the main reason I love nursing is because I find value in the work. I feel like it's my way of contributing to the world. I just find it very rewarding. Because at the core of it, I still really love what I went into nursing for, which is just to help people and know that you are making a difference to people’s lives.”

James, Mental Health Nurse

“I find the small things are the big things when caring for someone. I can give in a way that no other profession allows you to. I can love on people daily and learn about life. The patient’s life and their experiences when they’re at their most vulnerable physically or mentally. It’s a special place to be with someone.”

Emily, Critical Care

“For me, one of the best parts is that having young children, working in nursing gives you the opportunity for balance. There is a lot more part-time opportunities in nursing, than there are in the other professions. You also get penalty rates! That allows me to earn while working around the family.”

Image: Getty.

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Cassie, Intensive Care

“My daughter is in preschool three days a week and I still work four days a week. So, I might work on a Sunday or night shift, plus you can always swap shifts if kids are sick. There's a lot of flexibility within the workforce and the shifts work well around small children. It's the best to have the ability to be with your family, but still feel financially secure and support your family.”

Kathleen, Neonatal Intensive Care

“It’s being able to support the families through the toughest time of their life and helping them understand the journey they will be on. Allowing them to have the best chance of having as positive experience as it can be, under the trying circumstances, gives me a great sense of purpose.”

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Sally, Aged Care

"One of the many reasons I chose nursing is because in all honesty, I wanted a job where I had financial security and I wanted a job where I was recession proof and global pandemic proof. And while the past two years has been very challenging working in healthcare, I'm one of the few people I know where I was financially secure. 

"And I had that security to be able to help myself and my family in these times where things were so uncertain.”

Maria, Oncology

“You do you feel incredibly respected by the community and there are not many professions that make you feel that way. I love it because of the care that you give to your community, and that rare connection with the community is a magical thing really.”

Lily, Paediatric Hematology & Oncology

“Working in an inpatient clinic with kids who are not on these journeys for just for a few days, it's not a broken arm. They're on these journeys for months and months, sometimes years. The connections you make with these kids and their family just bring me so much joy and is so rewarding. 

"To be there with these families and their kids on their darkest days, if you can make just a tiny bit of a difference to their day, that's all I can ever hope to do in my job. 

"To be able to hold a mum's hand when she's crying and just give her that little bit of support and strength for her to be able to go back into the room and continue to care for her unwell child.

"I feel very privileged to be in a position where on people's worst days, I can help make their lives a little bit easier and a little bit better.” 

Looking to brush up on your professional knowledge, want to specialise in an area you're passionate about, or keen to boost your career opportunities? A postgraduate degree in Health could be right for you.

Charles Darwin University's degrees are completely online and completely flexible to handle whatever your life throws at you. 

They're a top 2 Australian university for graduate employment outcomes, and have offered online degrees for more than 30 years.

Feature Image: Getty.

Charles Darwin University
Charles Darwin University’s degrees are 100% online and 100% flexible to handle whatever your life throws at you. We’re a top 2 Australian university for graduate jobs, and we’ve been doing distance and online degrees for more than 30 years so we know how to support you. Apply now to study nursing, midwifery, teaching, health, law, exercise and sport science, social work, psychology, environmental science and more. Visit cdu.edu.au to start building your new world.