Nicole Connally
Nicole Connally

Nicole Connally

Rotary Club of Sale Rural Nursing Scholarship 2016/2017

Federation University, Gippsland Campus, Vic
Final Rural Placement – Bairnsdale Regional Health Service
Post Grad Placement – Bairnsdale Regional Health Service

Past Rural Nursing & Medical Scholarships Program

Why do I wish to do rural and remote training?

Growing up a a child in a rural area gave me a sense of community belonging, from school to sporting clubs to community gatherings, all of which has left me with some very fond memories.  After leaving high school I moved to East Gippsland to begin my adult life, it is here that I have worked and am now raising my own family in the hope that my children will also be able to look back with fond memories of growing up in a rural community.

My interest in becoming a nurse started 6 years ago, it was a decision I did not make lightly, but a decision I know was the right one, allowing me to embark on an exciting and diverse career that I will practice till the end of my working days.    What excites me the most is being able to achieve my nursing goal among my own community making me feel very privileged and fortunate.

As I begin my career as a Registered Nurse I wish to gain valuable acute nursing experience at Bairnsdale Regional Health Services; I envisage that after a few years working in the hospital setting I will branch out into the field of Community Nursing.  I believe working in rural communities allow you to get to know your patients or a more personal level which assists in building much stronger therapeutic relationships.   Importantly I also feel it will enable me to engage with my clients and use my knowledge to deliver health promotion to the people within my community, in the hope of reducing some of the risk factors associated with rural living.

I also believe that working as a nurse in a rural community will provide me with opportunities and experience not seen in larger metropolitan hospitals where clinical areas can be quite specialised. Nursing in a rural hospital requires strong teamwork and such a broad range of skills and knowledge.

Final (University) Rural Report

To say I was excited would be an understatement, but coupled with that were feelings of nervousness and to some degree, self-doubt that I would not live up to my own expectations of myself.

January rolled around and before I knew it Monday the 16th was here and orientation days were upon me, as excited as I was in beginning my new career, I had the added stress of my AHPRA registration yet to be processed, I was beginning to wonder if I was even going to be able to start on Wednesday 18th January. Luckily for me I received confirmation from AHPRA that I was a Registered Nurse late Monday afternoon on January 16th, what a wonderful relief that was.

My two super numeracy days on the ward went well, but I also was beginning to realise that I have so much to learn.

Then on Monday January 23rd I had my first shift as an independent Registered Nurse, I was nervous and excited all at the same time, my mind was exploding with information but I survived the day. I was involved in a MET call, my very first one on my very first day, what a great experience to have encountered so early on in the piece. Being able to reflect on this I feel will only benefit me as I begin my journey as a nurse. I am sure that throughout this year I will have many more experiences that will help me to grow both personally and professionally and I look forward to each and every one of them.

I have now been in Gabo ward for the last week, the support I am receiving from the other nurses has been truly incredible, I finally feel that I am not alone in this journey, everyone is there to offer their advice, knowledge and support, which is making my transition from a student nurse to a registered nurse all that little bit easier and what a wonderful team I feel that I am going to be a part of over the next 6 months. I am looking forward to what my future holds as a Registered Nurse and the path that it is going to take me down.

Post Grad Rural Placement Report

The last six months has gone in the blink of an eye. I have now finished up my rotation on Gabo Ward (Medical) and have begun my first week on Rotamah Ward (Palliative, Paediatric, Maternity and Medical).

I was sad to say goodbye to everyone on Gabo ward, they were a great bunch of people to work with, I learnt so much, I feel I am beginning to fine tune some of my skills, I feel my time management and patient care has greatly improved over the last 6 months. I owe that to a lot of hard work but also to the amazing support, encouragement and advice I received from my work colleagues.

Gabo ward was hectic and busy, the acuity of patients was high and I was forced to think on my feet, I had encountered some very unique experiences that I feel has made me a better nurse. Towards the end of my rotation there were a few Palliative patients that I cared for which I believe will only help me coming into my new 6 month rotation.

My first impressions on Rotamah are of calmness, the nursing staff have all made me feel very welcome.

I am really looking forward to learning more and gaining a better understanding of the dying process with the palliative patients, but more importantly ensuring their remaining days are pain free and as comfortable as possible.

Alongside that working with the paediatric patients I feel will be a very rewarding and challenging. I am excited to gain these extra skills and knowledge. I feel that developing my assessment skills with the paediatric patients will help me in all aspects of my nursing.

Overall I am looking forward to this next rotation, I go into it with new energy, I know I will gain different knowledge and experiences and I welcome that with open arms. I plan to make the very most of these next 6 months.

Final Post Grad Rural Placement Report

The grad year has come to an end; to say it went quickly would be an understatement. But looking back on the year I have come such a long way. From the nervous new grad, to 12 months later having confidence in my assessment and nursing skills and feeling like a “real” Registered Nurse.

It has been an emotional year at times but I have also surprised myself at how well I handled some tough situations. All in all the year has been quite character building and as much as I have learnt in nursing I have also learnt a lot about myself during this past year.

Like everything though in life, there are no certainties and sometimes life sends you in another direction to the one that you had planned, which is what has happened in my case.

Work has seen me and my family move early in the New Year from East Gippsland to the Mornington Peninsula. My love for nursing though has not changed and if anything the opportunity to take on new challenges and gain greater experience has me excited for my future as a Registered Nurse.

I have attended 2 interviews in the last week, one for a permanent position in the paediatric ward at Frankston Hospital and one for the Nurse Pool bank again with Peninsula Health. Currently I am waiting on the outcome from these interviews but feeling quietly confident that it won’t be long before I am back in the swing of things and out on the ward.

As exciting as this new chapter is I was sad to say goodbye to the wonderful team at BRHS but will be forever grateful for the learning experiences that I gained over the 12 months and the many wonderful people that I worked alongside.

There are a handful of these nurses that showed me such kindness and respect and took the time out to mentor me throughout the year with their vast amounts of knowledge, experience and patients. These are the people/nurses that I strive to be become.

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