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“When I grow up, I want to be a nurse” – Casey’s journey to her dream job

Hi everyone!

My name is Casey, I’m 21 years old from the Mornington Peninsula and I just started my dream career as a Registered Nurse with Peninsula Health! I’m so thankful to be a part of such an amazing bunch of graduate nurses this year! I’ve started my first rotation on 5FS, an oncology, haematology and acute elderly care ward!

For me, reading these blogs as a Nursing student was vital in preparing and getting me pumped to begin my graduate year. I hope these posts enlighten you, motivate you and share some insight into the challenging yet rewarding year ahead of being a graduate nurse.

I’ll start with a bit about why I’m here!

Most of my passion and strong motivation for nursing has stemmed from my own personal exposure to illness in my family. My mum was a single mum of three and was diagnosed with aggressive breast cancer at the age of 39. She was a fighter, someone who remained optimistic through the most challenging of times and always kept a smile on her face. At such a young age, I was exposed to many hospital visits and I had a lot of time to admire the health professionals and nurses who took such amazing care of my Mum. I told Mum “when I grow up I want to be a nurse”. My Mum sadly passed away 10 years ago, but I kept my promise and here I am starting my journey with you all to make her proud!

They told us at university that the transition from student to nurse would have its challenges and yes, they were right; however after settling into my ward with the support of the grad co-ordinators, grad nurses and the staff on my ward I can say the days will become smoother. As anticipated there have been amazing days, difficult days and days where you’ll left work with thousands of different thoughts racing around your head leaving you with little sleep questioning yourself on what you could have done better. A quote I found to best interpret that once said, “I never said it was going to be easy, I’m telling you it’s going to be worth it.”

It was only a few weeks ago when I truly realised why uni teaches us self-reflection and self-care strategies. I found myself binging Netflix on the couch on my days off to rest and recuperate, despite being a person that likes to make my days proactive. I’ve learned it’s crucial to listen to what your body is telling you and take the time to rest or take time off doing things you love. I thought that working two jobs and attending uni prior to working as a nurse would help my transition to full time work, but in fact it’s an entirely different workload. I definitely underestimated how much physical energy and concentration it is taking full responsibility of patient loads, all whilst navigating the new ward, new multidisciplinary teams and ensuring I can fit in a break every once in a while. As a student, there was so much behind the scenes that your buddy nurse would do without you knowing! But slowly and surely your time management and knowledge will improve, the two things I was most nervous about starting my graduate year. 

Overall, I’ve realised a few key things these past couple of months – that it’s important to take time and celebrate your achievements and to forgive yourself if you’re not perfect because you’re learning and not EVERYTHING can be accomplished in your shift. With that being said, appreciate leaving work knowing that you’ve touched a life or a life has touched yours.

Until next time!
Casey x