With a Bachelor of Nursing, a Diploma in Advanced Clinical Nursing, and 15 years’ industry experience under his belt, Luke felt it was time to return to study to refresh his skills and enhance his knowledge to take on higher employment opportunities. So, he enrolled in the Master of Mental Health Nursing at the University of Newcastle.
As a Nurse Manager at Gold Coast University Hospital in the Mental Health and Specialist Services Directorate, Luke had plenty of on-the-job experience, but he wanted to explore the theoretical frameworks that guided his everyday practice.
“I returned to study to ensure my clinical practice was contemporary and evidenced-based and since it had been almost two decades since I was at University, there was a lot to learn.
“The Master of Mental Health Nursing provided a theoretical context for many of the skills I had learnt on the job, rather than at University in my previous studies,” said Luke.
It’s been a long time since Luke had his head in a textbook or sat in a classroom, and now with a full-time job, there were plenty of new challenges he had to face when it came to postgraduate study.
“Returning to university after fifteen years away from study – one of the most challenging aspects of it was learning to adapt and balance my full-time job, family, friends and four children with my degree.
“From day one, I found it helpful to set a study schedule and that worked really well for me and my family. I found it was more achievable to study more regularly for shorter periods of time, than less regularly for longer periods of time.
“After a while this became the regular strategy for how I spent my time between all aspects in my life,” said Luke.
For Luke, the flexibility of the program and the opportunity to engage with fellow course mates was one of the most valuable parts of his study.
“The most enjoyable experience was the ability to engage regularly with peers from all over Australia and overseas.
“It gave me such a unique insight into current clinical processes occurring throughout Australia and overseas and it was great to be able to share knowledge and engage with colleagues and peers that you otherwise would not have the opportunity to,” concluded Luke.
Luke is a Nurse Manager returning to study after nearly 20 years out of university to ensure his clinical practice is contemporary and evidenced-based.
I returned to study to ensure my clinical practice was contemporary and evidenced-based and since it had been almost two decades since I was at University, there was a lot to learn.