Follow your dreams
A life changing event altered the course of Owen Bilsborough’s life forever. After 20 years in the travel industry he made the decision to change careers and follow his dream of becoming a Registered Nurse.
I lived a very different life prior to my career change to nursing. I worked in management positions in the travel industry for almost 20 years in Sydney, Perth, Brisbane, and overseas before settling back in Australia to run a property north of Toowoomba with my partner.
Two significant events encouraged me to change direction to become a nurse. The first was my retirement from the travel industry, and the second was when I nursed my father until he passed away. These life-changing events not only provided me the opportunity and the means to study nursing, but also the encouragement to make a valuable contribution and a real difference to people’s lives.
To begin, I started working in aged care for 12 months as an assistant in nursing (AIN) and then decided to undertake the Diploma of Nursing at TAFE Queensland. Although the nursing journey has been a rewarding one, it has not been without its challenges. Finding a critical balance between study, work, and family life is not always easy. However my strength and determination has come from my life skills as a mature age student, always taking study seriously, and always trying to connect the theory to practice.
The highlight of my course at TAFE Queensland was the method of learning and the relevancy of the course content to the nursing profession. The knowledge I gained was extensive, interesting, current, and practical. The teaching staff, through their own personal experiences as nurses, challenged our thoughts and knowledge towards providing great patient care. Their insights enabled them to demonstrate best practice, their humour provided balance, and their continued support empowered us to feel proud of what we had achieved.
In 2013 I successfully completed the Diploma of Nursing and not only did I receive my qualification but I was also awarded both the Academic Excellence Award in Nursing Studies and the Bob Walker Memorial trophy for outstanding achievement.
I had a great start to my career as an Enrolled Nurse (EN) after graduation and was lucky enough to start working almost immediately as an EN in aged care. In fact, I finished my last clinical placement on the Friday then I secured a job as an enrolled nurse on the Monday!
But it wasn’t long before I was yearning to take on more responsibility.
I scaled back to part-time work and enroled in a Bachelor of Nursing at the University of Southern Queensland (USQ) as a second-year student. I will always be thankful that the Diploma of Nursing provided by TAFE Queensland is recognised by USQ for its quality of education. I have since finished my degree an am currently working as a Registered Nurse.
My goal now is to broaden my clinical experience. I'm looking forward to working within an acute environment fine tuning my nursing skills, leading a team, and interacting with the wider multidisciplinary team to provide holistic care for my patients. Ultimately I see myself in a teaching role and one day, I hope to impart my knowledge and experience to students who are eager to make a difference like myself.
TAFE Queensland has been an excellent vehicle that helped me to learn and practise current and relevant skills and knowledge for the job I always dreamed of.