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Helping patients is Shelly's purpose

TAFE Queensland nursing graduate Shelly Grant has turned her love for helping others into a rewarding career after recently completing her studies to become a nurse, and finding her life purpose in the process.


At the beginning of Year 11, she struggled in traditional high school and, after leaving to find a job, an employment advisor encouraged her to look into TAFE Queensland’s Senior College program.

“I had a lack of confidence in school that only got worse over time, and it impacted my ability to learn,” says Shelly.

“I figured that high school just wasn’t for me and not really knowing what to do next, I started looking for a job. But thanks to the employment consultant, I discovered Senior College.”

Shelly enrolled in Senior College at TAFE Queensland Alexandra Hills to complete Year 11 and 12 between 2017 and 2018, and in doing so, she found the confidence to begin her journey into a career in health care.

“Going back to school was very daunting, and I felt the same lack of confidence creeping back in during the first few days,” continues Shelly.

“But TAFE’s teachers are so compassionate towards every student, and I was totally supported during my studies. They have an amazing ability to get the best out of students, regardless of their backgrounds.”

During her studies, Shelly gained the confidence to pass subjects on her way to completing her Certificate III in Health Services Assistance (HLT33115) through Senior College.

“Like many students, I learn best in a hands-on environment, and thanks to TAFE Queensland, I was able to finish Year 11 and 12and get a head start on my nursing diploma. Completing my certificate III gave me the confidence in my own ability to enrol in a Diploma of Nursing (HLT54115) with TAFE Queensland from 2019 to 2020,” she said.

Continuing her studies at Alexandra Hills campus, Shelly found the teachers guiding her through the diploma were all nurses themselves, and knew what she could expect during her studies, during her first placement and when working on the wards.

Their knowledge and experience taught her both the theory and practical skills she needed to complete her studies, become job-ready and get employed as a nurse.

“With the help of my teachers, I mastered practical things like wound management and IV skills. I even used my math skills when dispensing medicine, surprising myself!"

“I gained these skills from my teachers being open and honest about what to expect when working the wards and it was invaluable advice when I was on placement. It gave me confidence in my abilities, and confirmed that nursing definitely was the career for me,” says Shelly.

After completing her diploma, Shelly applied for the Graduate Nurse Program with Greenslopes Private Hospital in Brisbane – an achievement she also credits to her teachers support.

“My teachers helped with my application for the program and then mock-interviewed me, which really helped me understand what to expect."

“I arrived at the interview full of confidence, it went really well, and I was successful in getting placement thanks to their help,” she said.

Shelly is now starting a career that she thought was out of reach and in doing so, she’s adding to her family nursing tradition.

“My sister and my grandmother are both nurses and mum works in the industry too, and they’ve been a great source of support encouragement. Like them, I love caring for people, and I love the medical industry, so nursing is the career for me,” Shelly said.