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It’s never too late to kick off a nursing career

Alex Murdoch's career goal since high school was to become a nurse, and after a successful customer service career, he’s begun studying to become one, thanks to Fee-Free TAFE. 

“I wanted to study nursing after high school, but I kept putting it off because I wasn't sure if it was for me. Instead, I worked various jobs and have spent the past six years working in sales, quality coaching and as a team leader in a call centre,” explained Alex.

“When the call centre I worked in was moved offshore, I decided to change careers and study nursing. I’m passionate about helping people and want a career where I can assist them, not just help them with their electricity bill.”

Bringing his passion for helping people to TAFE Queensland's South Bank campus, Alex is now confidently training towards his true calling by studying the Diploma of Nursing (HLT54121).

Alex also uses Fee-Free TAFE funding to kickstart his new career, which is part of the Queensland Government's Good People. Good jobs: Queensland Workforce Strategy 2022–2032.

It aims to connect, educate and attract the people needed to meet the state's workforce demand in existing and new industry sectors to support continued economic growth.

With approximately 37,000 Fee-Free TAFE and vocational education and training places available in 2024, the program will support Queenslanders to skill up to meet the state's current and future workforce needs by enabling them to complete selected qualifications at no or low cost.

“I've got other financial commitments, so studying at no cost is of great comfort because it’s a significant financial relief. I've used the money I saved to get my uniforms and everything I’ll need to learn,” he said.

Alex describes TAFE Queensland’s facilities and equipment as the perfect training environment to learn and grow.

"The modern facilities, including the simulated hospital wards, provide practical hands-on training that will prepare me for the real-world challenges of my placements and the nursing profession," he explained.

A proud Indigenous man connected to both the Waka Waka and Noonuccal Aboriginal mobs, Alex is open to connecting his culture to his career working with Indigenous people and assisting them to live better lives.

“Nursing is so broad, and I’m open to using the skills and knowledge I gain through studying with TAFE Queensland to help and inspire the next generation of Indigenous people by contributing to their positive health outcomes.”

It’s taken a decade, but Alex is proud to be studying for a diploma in nursing and encourages others to research how to turn their passion into a career.

“I sat on this decision since leaving school, but I kept putting it off because I wasn't sure if it was for me. But now that I’m older and have talked about the industry and career opportunities with experienced nurses, I’m confident I’m in the right place to take on this challenge.”

Looking forward, Alex can see that his career path is clear, with his TAFE Queensland diploma equipping him with knowledge, skills, confidence and determination to become the best nurse he can be.

"When I finish my diploma, I'll get recognition of my prior learning because universities recognise my skills from TAFE, shortening the time it takes to finish my Bachelor of Nursing."

Knowing that he gets job satisfaction through helping others, Alex knows that a career in the healthcare industry will fulfil him.

“There are many positives with nursing, and it gives you a clear pathway in just 18 months, as opposed to a bachelor's degree where you have to study for three years before you can start applying in your field - and you won’t even know if you like it.”

“With this diploma, you can start working in aged care after six months, and after you've done your diploma, you can work as an enrolled nurse while you finish your degree, and it also takes a year off the bachelor's so it's very convenient in that way to become a registered nurse.”

“I’m very confident I will succeed. The industry needs compassionate and skilled nurses, and with my customer service background, I’ll get to help people face to face – and I like that idea,” he concluded.