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Brisbane local Angela White has always had a passion for life, which has seen her career gravitate towards caring for people in different ways.

Holding qualifications for both hairdressing and education, Angela spent her weekdays educating children and her weekends helping people look and feel beautiful at a hair salon.

“I wanted to help others from a young age and considered becoming a nurse. But instead, I studied hairdressing to explore my creative side. Studying is such an amazing way to explore life and find your passion,” said Angela.

In keeping with her exploration philosophy, Angela and her family travelled around Australia in a double-decker bus. They drove for several years searching for the best place to live, which eventually brought her home to Brisbane.

After settling back in Queensland and having three kids, Angela was happily working at school during the week and at the salon on the weekends. Both jobs were fulfilling her desire to help others until a conversation with a friend changed her career trajectory.

“One day I was chatting with a friend who joked that I should work with him at the hospital. His comment reignited my childhood dream to become a nurse and the conversation quickly turned how I could get there.

“My friend recommended studying at TAFE Queensland, so I visited the Loganlea campus to enquire. After a tour of the impressive nursing facilities and seeing the environment, I enrolled on the spot,” continued Angela.

Angela’s now studying towards a Diploma of Nursing (HLT54115) at TAFE Queensland while still working in a hair salon on weekends. Ironically, the Loganlea campus is where she studied hairdressing over 28 years ago.

“Each day I’m studying in a simulated environment that includes wards, patients and medical rooms that could be in any hospital in Australia. I’m using the same equipment as registered nurses, under the guidance of tutors who are nurses."

“This is complemented by TAFE Queensland’s supportive admin and library staff who help you study and set you up to win,” she said.

Now a grandmother, Angela says she loves that she’s fulfilling one of her life ambitions, back where it all began.

“I came here to study hairdressing 28 years ago. Since then I’ve been an apprentice, owned businesses and I’m now back studying what I want to do for the rest of my life.”

“Life has a funny way of working out. I’ve always wanted a career in caring, and now I’m working towards one where I’ll make a difference in people’s health and wellbeing. TAFE Queensland has changed my life for the better — twice.”

Angela says by studying the diploma, she’s building her knowledge of patient care, thanks to the course’s practical, hands-on structure. Once she graduates and gets some experience she plans to continue helping others by eventually becoming a nursing tutor herself.

“People should explore everything life has to offer and find their passion. For me, I’ve always been compassionate and empathetic, so nursing is the next step of the journey for me."

“Once I graduate, I’ll get some experience and eventually I’d like to teach nursing one day. Being able to make a positive difference in the lives of those around me is who I am,” said Angela.

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TAFE Queensland