30 Nov 2017
Olivia Rogers and Sarah Mulhern are two young women whose ambition and dedication knows no bounds. At the age of twenty-two these nursing students are due to graduate with two Bachelor’s degrees and a Master’s degree each to their names.
Students Olivia Rogers and Sarah Mulhern
The students will obtain two of these qualifications from the Bachelor of Nursing at Ara, articulated with the University of Canterbury Master of Health Sciences. The dual programme involves classes in Ara's clinical practice units, clinical placements organised by Ara, and UC postgraduate health science courses that count as prior learning credit towards the degree at Ara.
After completing a Bachelor of Bio Medical Sciences, Mulhern wanted to change the direction of her educational pathway. “I never really wanted to go into lab research which is probably the main pathway I would have gone into had I carried on with my degree. However, I’ve always been quite interested in nursing and it was appealing to complete a course in two years instead of three.”
Rogers, who studied a Bachelor of Science, chose the postgraduate nursing programme for the combination of theoretical and applied learning. “My first degree in anatomy involved a lot of textbook knowledge and theory. I remember thinking that I had learnt all this amazing information, but I really wanted to be able to put it into practise.”
The Ara/UC Nursing programme provided just what Rogers was looking for, and reaffirmed her passion for nursing. “The course has been a real challenge. I feel you have to be really disciplined and self-motivated to be able to do it. It’s been hard work and it’s pushed me, but it’s ultimately led me to where I want to be.”
Both students have just sat their final exams and have successfully lined up nursing jobs for next year. Mulhern has accepted a position in a Neurology/Neurosurgery ward at Christchurch Hospital and Rogers within a General Surgery/Gastroenterology ward at the CDHB.
Rogers and Mulhern acknowledge that the work placements provided by the course have supported their transition into employment. “With my first placement at Anthony Wilding Retirement Village I sort of fell on my feet trying to figure everything out. But it was a lot of fun and for me the practical work experience was great. By the end of my final placement at Christchurch Hospital I felt quite confident in my abilities,” says Mulhern.
Rogers shares a similar sentiment. “I really enjoyed the course for the self-directed aspects. My placements provided me with opportunities to prioritise, manage my time, be accountable and self-motivated for my own learning, which are all very important skills for the workplace. I feel well and truly prepared for next year.”
Despite being close to concluding this chapter of their nursing pathway neither student is ready to put study behind them just yet. Rogers has set her sights on doing a Masters of Nursing further down the track but for now she is excited to start working and get some experience on her side.
Mulhern can see herself exploring postgraduate study in the future as well. “I would like to further my study and become a bit more specialised. At this stage I don’t have any set ideas on what areas of nursing I’m most passionate about. My plan is to work for a while and then revaluate. I think I’ve just got so much more learning I can do.”