Pursuing my nursing degree as a mature-aged student

Written by Chantelle Uvero, UTS Bachelor of Nursing student

Has it been a while since you last studied? Maybe you took a break, or you’re feeling stuck and unsure of where you’re going?

That’s OK! I remember that feeling and it was always daunting. It’s how I remember my first experience getting into university almost a decade ago and with many new experiences along the way, I still get that same feeling – but I’ve learned to appreciate it.

Let me share my experience with you as a mature-aged student: “Is nursing for me?”

Nursing was never my first choice, but I’d asked myself that question for a while. I started university straight out of high school studying Medical Science. I quickly realised that I couldn’t see myself pursuing a career in that field.

Feeling lost, I sought change, even though it had been years after I finished high school. I was studying part-time, decided to take a gap year, and went back to studying. I went back and forth figuring it out. Finally, I gained some valuable insights into Nursing when chatting to friends about their experience as Registered Nurses.

There was one thing they had in common: a desire to care for people. That’s what I desired.

Even though I was a bit older, I started to look into changing direction and finding career pathways. I felt disappointed and was constantly comparing myself to my peers who had already graduated and were moving on to finding full-time jobs. In the end, this only motivated me to find more about what I wanted to do.

Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

What I’ve learnt on this path is that life happens in ebbs and flows: change is what makes our paths unique, and it gives us all different experiences to share and learn from.

That’s where I see the beauty of coming into Nursing – being able to share my own experience and hearing about the experience of others, whether it’s in labs or at the bedside.

Throughout my experience at UTS, I’ve had the opportunity to meet, study, work with and care for so many people from different walks of life. In fact, many of the friends I have made are also mature-aged students!

It has been humbling and makes me appreciate the journey I’ve been through to get here. I learnt more about the people around me and myself along the way, allowing me to broaden my mindset and appreciate ideas outside of what I thought I knew about Nursing.

I’ve had experiences learning how to perform the clinical skills necessary to help the people around me and I’ve become more confident in fulfilling my passion as a nurse.

My advice to you: don’t be afraid to question your journey or to learn more about where you want to go. I don’t regret the changes and the experiences I’ve had – they’ve given me the chance to appreciate the differences in people and their journeys. Go out there, even if you feel it’s all daunting, never be afraid to use that feeling to change your direction and pursue your desired path!

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