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Overseas Experience Plants Seed for Nursing Studies

March 25, 2013

One of two valedictorians who will address EIT’s graduation ceremony on Friday (March 22), Bachelor of Nursing graduand Katherine Corney discovered her life calling by an indirect route.

A saxaphone player, Katherine launched into a Bachelor of Music majoring in performance jazz after leaving William Colenso College.  Realising it wasn’t where she wanted to head herself, she moved to the UK where she worked, travelled and enjoyed some amazing experiences.

Her plan for a year’s OE turned into four, and during that time she was offered six days working in a delivery suite in south London.  That turned into a six-month assignment, after which she worked in Great Ormond Street Hospital’s mental health unit.

“Part of my job was looking after the kids in the ward, writing all the reports and attending all the meetings,” she says.  “Learning so much from the two years working in the hospital, I wanted to pursue nursing and be in the hands-on part of the hospital.”

Returning to New Zealand, Katherine enrolled for EIT’s Bachelor of Nursing.

She enjoyed working with and getting to know her fellow students, and says many were unknowingly inspirational – mothers raising children, those who had lost loved ones and others who had fought illness while holding fast to their life goals.

Katherine also enjoyed the placements that are part of the degree programme.  One was at Wairoa Hospital where she now works for the Hawke’s Bay District Health Board on the Nurse Entry to Practice programme.  With two emergency department beds, two acute beds and 11 general beds, the hospital is providing her with rich learning opportunities.

“All illnesses and injuries can come in, so I’m getting an excellent base of knowledge for my nursing career.  I’ll also be working with the district nurses one day a week as part of the new integrated healthcare system being developed in Wairoa.

“I like the people here,” she says, “the community and the staff.”

Assistant head of EIT’s Nursing School Jennifer Roberts says Katherine is an outstanding academic achiever who enthusiastically welcomed every opportunity to learn and interact with clients and health professionals on her practicum.

“I have little doubt she will contribute to the Wairoa community in a lasting and positive way.”

Katherine wants to continue nursing studies to gain her master’s degree and to work one day as a nurse practitioner, perhaps in a nurse-led community clinic.

She would love to travel again too, this time as a nurse, but sees herself mainly working in New Zealand.

In the meantime, she is welcoming the additional opportunities Wairoa offers for indulging her love of the outdoors, particularly kayaking and hiking.

Katherine has told her parents of her honour – being chosen as a valedictorian – and they will be at the ceremony held at Napier’s Municipal Theatre to hear their daughter speak on behalf of her fellow graduates.