Nichola's Story

These past years has been challenging, but I’m so glad I spent it at St Vincent’s Private Hospital Melbourne.

All of us at St V’s are a family. When we were understaffed, working long shifts with no end in sight, it was that strong sense of community and culture that really helped me through the pandemic. We were all in this together.

We had to be flexible and rise to new challenges every single day. And while we were constantly adapting to new ways of working, one thing that we did miss out on was education and training.

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I’ve been lucky enough to have amazing support from my nurse unit manager and my colleagues in furthering my studies. They let me balance my work around my study, which means I’m able to maintain a steady income.

Despite this support, it’s been tough. I’ve worked full time and overtime in theatre while studying for my postgrad; and I’ve felt burned out and overwhelmed. My feet would ache at the end of a shift, and then I had to turn around and start studying for exams. The intensity was unrelenting.

“It’s so important for us to keep upskilling. The barrier is that we can’t work full time and study, because we have a family or can’t afford to cut back our hours. By funding nursing scholarships, you are funding the community as well, because that’s where the skills and the knowledge is going to go.” 

- Nichola, Registered Nurse St Vincent's Private Melbourne 

I know I’m lucky. I was able to juggle those responsibilities. For some nurses, working and studying, on top of family and other personal commitments, is just too much pressure.

Studying places a financial burden on you, and sometimes there just aren’t enough hours in the day. The pressure to keep working makes it hard to access that education. Yet that education is so necessary for us to be able to offer the best possible care.

As you know, the pandemic changed study too. All our face-to-face learning was cancelled.

When you’re learning practical, technical skills – life-saving skills – practical training is absolutely crucial.

The pandemic may be coming to an end, but we are still feeling its impacts in staff shortages and training gaps. We need a renewed emphasis on learning.

Nursing practice is always evolving. There’s always something new to learn. If you have an inquiring mind, it keeps you engaged in offering better support for all your patients. You’re more engaged and motivated to give better care to every single person.

There shouldn’t be any barriers to giving patients the best care. This scholarship fund will open doors to people who are hesitant in taking that step because they are worried they can’t afford it, or they don’t have the time for such a huge commitment.

We need support from our community.

Give a life changing gift this Christmas. Donate today.


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