Donna: “Hi, I am Donna Hanley and I am now a registered nurse at Emmaus nursing home.
I started working for CCA in 1998 when my younger son was born, I was probably was more focused on being a mother and working part time to pay the bills.
When I was pregnant with my third child in 2007, I did my Cert lll in Aged Care nursing and after then 12 months I looked into doing some further study and then I decided to do the Register Nurse, Bachelor of Nursing and I completed it over 5 years and I continued to work over during that time.
I’ve learned a lot, it wasn’t easy, over those 5 years especially at the beginning. As I got further into it I grew in confidence.
I am starting in being in my first year of being registered nursing, which is really exciting. So I am starting again, sometimes you need a change, you can get into a rut and I did my study, when I had placements, I had holidays to fall back on, long service leave which I has accumulated over time.
My biggest motivator was as an AIN there was other things you could do, medications and seeing the RN’s on the floor and It just interested me and I thought I could do that. But I sort of needed that piece of paper to do it.
CCA does offer a lot of training, so there was a lot of things that I did, that I was familiar with, it just went in a lot more depth.
I worked with my Roster Coordinator who was good because when I had placements at UNI I had to work with her to put in for that time in leave, as soon as I would get that in advance I would try to give that to her.
All of the staff are really supportive too. That’s one thing I can say, all of my co-workers are really supportive and really interested in what I was doing.
I was 39 when I started my bachelor of nursing and I thought I was too old at the time, and it was an older staff member who was at retirement age that convinced me that even if I was 44, 45 when you finish you still have 20 years of work ahead of you.
It’s what I know, what I have become familiar with. Now that I have done it I think that maybe I will do some further study down the track in a few years time when I get more experience which I would never have thought I had done.
I am obviously going to enjoy the pay rise, that will be great.
It was good, I probably feel like I have grown up a little bit.
Through Newman College we have students come in from year 11, 1 day a week and year 12 they do 2 days a week which is fantastic.
It’s just changed. I just wouldn’t of thought that it might have been a bit late for me, so I think my message is. I do encourage the younger people but still would encourage people who might be middle age, one of my friends as UNI, my study buddy graduated at 62, and she wants to be a psychologist so she is doing some further study. You’re never too old, that is probably one thing I would say.”