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Mother-daughter nursing duo have healthy careers ahead

When mother of four Tania Bluegum suggested to her daughter that they study nursing together, she hoped she would be on board.

“My daughter Kaea had started a Bachelor of Nursing at university, but she really struggled with it at the time, so I suggested we study together and do the nursing diploma,” Tania, 46, said.

“We both have a passion for helping people and I was really scared about studying on my own, so I hoped that she would come on the journey with me.”

The mother-daughter duo enrolled into TAFE Queensland’s Diploma of Nursing (HLT54121) as part of the Ramsay Health Care Australia partnership.

“I chose TAFE Queensland’s Ramsay Health Care pathway as it suited us both with the balance of classroom learning one to two times a week and hospital placement two days a week, rather than longer block placements,” said Tania.

Throughout the 18-month full-time course both were placed at Greenslopes Private Hospital in Brisbane, and Tania said having her daughter by her side really helped with her confidence.

“Kaea was always there to build up my spirits and remind me that it’s okay to make mistakes along the way. We make a good team and if one was feeling down we spur the other on to get through it,” she said.

“It was so nice to have someone from the family who understood the struggle and knew exactly what I was going through.”

Kaea Bluegum, 21, said studying with her mother had its moments, but overall it has been a special experience.

“It’s had its good and bad days. Don't get me wrong I loved it and in all honesty I think if mum wasn't doing it with me I probably wouldn’t have gotten this far,” Kaea said.

“All those times where she stopped me from going out because of an assessment being due had its perks.”

“I could always rely on mum for help until she didn't know either and then we were both stuck,” she laughed.

Now having recently completed the diploma, both mother and daughter have been accepted into the Greenslopes Private Hospital graduate program, and they credit the support of each other in their success.

“Thanks goodness we both got accepted, can you imagine if only one of us was offered a position,” said Tania.

“I am so grateful that my beautiful daughter went along with my initial idea of studying together. I know it hasn’t always been easy but we made it and we did it together and I am really proud to say that.”

Both agree that Tania is probably the better student, however it is Kaea who plans to go onto further study.

“Now that I have strong industry knowledge and skills, I feel confident to go back and complete my bachelor degree one day. I have always wanted to become a mental health nurse and I think my dream job would be to work in a prison,” said Kaea.

For anyone who is considering becoming a nurse, Kaea suggests to start with the Diploma of Nursing (HLT54121).

“I went straight to university after high school to study bachelor of nursing, but I really struggled with it and managed to fail – I wish I went straight to TAFE,” she said.

“I have told all my friends who are considering becoming a nurse to follow the Ramsay Health Care partnership pathway with TAFE Queensland and they all loved the sound of it.”