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  • 5 July 2019

How this nursing trainee inspired her whole family to do VET

“I live with my mum and twin sister in Morpeth, in the NSW Hunter Valley. Mum’s always been one of those people who believe there are different ways to do things. At high school, when the idea of me doing a VET traineeship in health services came up, she definitely thought it was a good option.

I chose to do a school-based traineeship so I could gain experience in the industry I wanted a career in. When I was younger, I helped look after my grandad when he was in the process of passing away and I just got really interested in how nursing worked and how the nurses interacted with us.

I completed my Certificate III in Health Services Assistance during Years 11 and 12. With a traineeship, you get paid, so it was also a way for our family to get a secondary income.

VET is actually quite a thing in our house now. When I started coming home with all my stories about what I was doing, Mum decided to go and do a VET qualification herself. She studied aged care and is now working as a home care employee. My sister is doing a Diploma of Hospitality Management—we’re all involved one way or the other!

VET has helped me feel so confident about my future. Health is an amazing industry to get into. There will always be jobs in it, you can always upskill, you never stop learning.

I finished my traineeship in 2018 and secured casual work at Maitland Hospital as an assistant in nursing. This year I was fortunate to win a scholarship to study a Diploma in Nursing through VET, which will see me graduate in 18 months as an enrolled nurse. The scholarship is a great opportunity—the cost of is covered and I’m guaranteed a 12-month contract at the end of it.

I did consider uni, and I do still think I’ll go on to study to become a registered nurse, but the style of learning through VET, it really suits me. I don’t know if I could have jumped from school to all those uni essays! Mum agreed. She knew how much I enjoyed my traineeship, how nurturing it was, and the confidence it gave me. I think she also knows how much it means to me to now be moving up in the hospital and learning new skills. Down the track I’d like to specialise in palliative care and oncology.

VET has helped me feel so confident about my future. Health is an amazing industry to get into. There will always be jobs in it, you can always upskill, you never stop learning. It makes you more socially aware, too. You develop empathy and communication skills, and are able to go to work and know you made a little bit of a difference in someone’s life—it’s so rewarding.”

2018 NSW Training Awards School Based Trainee of the Year Lucy Allen at work in Maitland Hospital.

VET opens doors to opportunity in nursing

The health care and social assistance industry is booming. Recent data from the Commonwealth Government shows it is Australia’s fastest-growing sector, with more than 250,000 new jobs expected in the next few years. VET is an ideal way to get your foot in the door, with traineeships and qualifications that deliver the job-ready skills employers need.

  • Certificate III in Health Services Assistance—available as a traineeship, this VET course will see you qualify as an assistant in nursing. It can also lead to jobs as an acute care assistant or entry level medical technician.
  • Certificate IV in Allied Health Assistance—available as a traineeship, this qualification helps you gain the skills to play a support role in therapeutic health areas such as nutrition, occupational therapy, physiotherapy and podiatry.
  • Diploma of Nursing—this course takes between 12-24 months and sees you complete a minimum of 400 clinical placement hours. Upon completion, you apply for registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia to practice as an enrolled nurse. You can seek employment in a range of settings including hospitals, aged care services, general practitioner (GP) clinics and in the private health sector.
  • Advanced Diploma of Nursing—this qualification develops skills in specialist areas of nursing including mental health, critical care, perioperative (before and immediately after surgery), and aged care.