Graduate goes from catering for parties to caring for patients - University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

Accessibility links

USC News

Graduate goes from catering for parties to caring for patients

26 May 2020

After previously working as a wedding caterer and chef in Melbourne and Noosa, new USC graduate Nicole Wright is now employed as a mental health nurse at the Sunshine Coast University Hospital (SCUH).

Nicole, 36, of Buddina recently completed a Bachelor of Nursing Science and was thrilled to gain a place in SCUH’s Graduate Nursing Program, which currently involves her working in the hospital’s Older Persons Mental Health Unit.

“I started in February and it’s been incredibly rewarding,” she said. “I preferenced mental health as my choice of graduate programs as I’d looked after people with mental illness during uni placements, but never on a specialised mental health ward.

“It’s always been an interest of mine, especially after attending mental health networking events in the community. I really wanted to find a career that was fulfilling and satisfying, and I feel that I’ve definitely found that in nursing.”

Nicole said while she enjoyed the theory elements of her degree, she knew she’d made the right study choice after her first placement at an aged care facility in second year.

“I absolutely loved it,” she said. “I got value out of every opportunity afforded to me and there are things I learnt on that placement working with the elderly that I’m able to put in to practice now working in the Older Persons Mental Health Unit.”

Nicole, who initially was concerned that she might not do well at university, ended up receiving a University Medal for Academic Achievement for her impressive grade point average of 6.84 out of 7.

“After having so much self-doubt when I initially started studying, I found that I actually didn’t struggle at all academically,” she said.

“So I volunteered to assist other students and was also involved with a number of USC Open Days and career expos to promote the degree and the profession,” she said.

Throughout her degree, Nicole also earned two other awards recognising high academic achievement.

“I’m really proud of what I’ve achieved in completing my nursing degree, none more so than the fact that I had my two babies, who are now 4 and 6, over the course of studying,” she said.

“I did miss out on some family events because I had to study or had prac classes. But it’s been worth it.”

QTAC applications are open to study at USC in Semester 2 this year. For more information about studying at USC, go to www.usc.edu.au/learn.

Related programs

Related articles

Study to assess patient confidence in clinical trials
9 Jan

USC Clinical Trials will this year develop a new way to evaluate and improve the experience of medical trial participants, thanks to a new grant.

USC research to diagnose ‘invisible’ illness faster
9 Dec 2019

A USC researcher has been awarded a prestigious National Health and Medical Research Council grant worth more than $1.2million to help find the underlying neurobiological factors that cause chronic fatigue syndrome and help diagnose it faster.

Rate of sudden deaths in Indigenous infants much higher than estimated: USC research
1 Nov 2019

Indigenous infants in Queensland may be dying suddenly and unexpectedly at a rate more than 3.5 times that of non-Indigenous infants, according to USC Nursing and Midwifery research.

Contact the USC media team

Name Position Email Phone
Terry Walsh Manager, Media and Messaging twalsh@usc.edu.au +61 7 5430 1160
Janelle Kirkland Media Relations Coordinator jkirklan@usc.edu.au +61 7 5459 4553
Clare McKay Media Relations Officer (Regional) cmckay@usc.edu.au +61 7 5456 5669

Search results for

Recent news