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Defining her greatness with a new career in nursing

‘It’s never too late’ often appears in pretty, whimsical font on Instagram posts (#inspo), but just how easy is it to completely transform your life, later in life? Chantelle Ball, a soon-to-be enrolled nurse and mum of two shared her experience of being a career changer, so if you’re looking for a truly motivating story – this is it….

“After about four years of admin work – a receptionist in finance – I began to think about what my personality was really suited to. I’ve a very empathetic and caring nature, and that combined with my interest in the medical field made me look at nursing,” Chantelle began.

Chantelle was born and raised in Cairns, graduated high school in 2008 and was nervous about returning to study.

“I was absolutely terrified to start studying again, however, I googled ‘Diploma of Nursing online’ and explored the availability of ‘mixed mode’ learning in my area. The flexibility to learn online and attend residential schools was the main reason I applied. I am a mother to two young children, so it was important that I was still able to work as well as study. Now, as the end of my diploma nears, I’m so excited and happy I took that step!” said Chantelle.

Chantelle studies online and every semester she attends residential training blocks at the TAFE Queensland Townsville (Pimlico) campus. To consolidate her learning, Chantelle also participates in placements, which helped her obtain a role in the industry.

“In semester two I completed my placement and was lucky enough to then land a job as an assistant nurse at the same facility. This has been so beneficial to my studies as I regularly get to put theory into practice. If I hadn’t had had the opportunity to do placement in Cairns, I wouldn’t have been able to make an impression for future employment,” Chantelle explained.

“My dream job is to be a wound-care nurse. I just love caring for my patients. I soon have an interview for an enrolled nurse graduate position with the Cairns Private Hospital, and I can also apply as a casual enrolled nurse as soon as my registration is complete,” said Chantelle.

Whilst it might sound like Chantelle has been ‘lucky’ to find such swift employment, hard-work, time-management, and TAFE Queensland’s facilities and teachers are what she credits for her new career success.

“When not on placement I would work, do the dinner and bedtime routine with my children and stay up to complete assessments. I would spend a lot of time on the weekends finishing the assessments before the due date. Taking the time to set a timetable and getting stuck into projects early meant I stayed on top of it all."

“The new Pimlico campus has an amazing hospital set up, so you feel like it’s the real deal. Also, my class is lucky enough to have two wonderful teachers. They are super knowledgeable, and you can tell they love their chosen career path. It’s inspiring to see how much they want to help us achieve our goals and dreams. I really enjoyed my time at TAFE and the placements – these have made the learning exciting as you get a taste for what your career choice will entail,” Chantelle offered.

Another positive to Chantelle’s experience with TAFE Queensland is that she’s been able to access the Queensland Government’s Higher Level Skills funding, which sees her nursing diploma (and other high priority training areas) partially subsidised.

“This has been a great help because it means the course has cost me less, meaning I will be able to pay it back quicker,” Chantelle added.

Chantelle is very enthusiastic about encouraging other ‘career changers’ to step forward – especially when it comes to the nursing field.

“TAFE has been fast-paced but totally worth it! I am excited to be finishing in October 2021. Time has flown by! I definitely feel that this has been a great introduction to nursing, especially for someone with no medical background.”

If you’re contemplating a career change, TAFE Queensland can help.