Teen working as nurse before graduating high school
What teenager do you know has ever said ‘I want to work all the time’? That’s exactly what 17-year-old Caitlin Jazevski said while working as an Assistant in Nursing (AIN) while still in high school.
“I’m in love with my job as an AIN and I just want to work all the time,” said Caitlin.
The Assisi College graduate secured a job working in aged care before she had even finished high school thanks to studying a partial Diploma of Nursing (HLT54115) with TAFE Queensland.
While completing years 11 and 12, Caitlin studied the diploma via online classes combined with practical training at the Southport campus one or two days a week.
It was the stress she felt about her future that made the Oxenford teen think about what she wanted to do in life and what pathway she needed to take.
“I was really struggling to find myself and felt pressure from school to know where I wanted to go and who I wanted to be after I graduated,” she said.
“Upon reflecting what made me happy I thought about nursing as I always wanted a job where I can help people and make someone’s day a bit better. I feel nursing is that job where you can see the difference you make.”
“I enrolled straight away while in Year 11 and then half way through Year 12 I was already working as an AIN with an agency which means I travel to wherever needs me and experience various aged care facilities.”
Following national trends, the number of senior residents on the Gold Coast is expected to increase to 20.7% of the city's population by 2041 according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, making Caitlin the kind of worker who will be in demand by employers right now and into the future.
Caitlin credits TAFE Queensland for helping her get the job and fostering her passion for nursing.
“I credit TAFE Queensland and my teachers for helping me get here. Without my teachers, skills and knowledge I wouldn’t have this job. My teachers are beyond amazing and if I struggle with anything they always take the time to explain and help me understand the content. They are encouraging, supportive and their nursing knowledge is so amazing to have,” she said.
This year Caitlin will continue to work as an AIN while finishing the Diploma of Nursing (HLT54115) which will qualify her to register with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia and work as an Enrolled Nurse within a diverse range of healthcare settings.
“Once I graduate from TAFE with my diploma I plan to move to Melbourne to work as an Enrolled Nurse while simultaneously studying a Bachelor of nursing with the goal to one day work in oncology or emergency.
“I’m so glad I chose this path as what I’m doing now will really benefit me going into the next phase of my career.”
As a TAFE Queensland Diploma of Nursing Graduate, Caitlin can receive a full year of credit towards a degree with a partner university and will graduate ahead of the pack with academic knowledge backed up by real-world skill.
To anyone interested in studying at TAFE while still in school and isn’t sure, Caitlin said to "just do it".
“There is nothing to lose and so much experience, knowledge and skills to gain,” she said.
“I never expected to love working in aged care as much as I do and I would have never known had I not enrolled into the course.”
TAFE Queensland General Manager on the Gold Coast Karen Dickinson said TAFE Queensland equips students like Caitlin with job-ready skills and practical experience to gain employment, and more importantly like so they can earn while they learn.