After 14 years as a stay-at-home mother of four, Bronwyn wanted to help other people’s children too. Now she is an EIT Bachelor of Nursing graduate and has secured her dream job at the Gisborne Hospital.
When Bronwyn’s second child Jacob was born with special needs 12 years ago, he spent two weeks in the neonatal unit where she starts work this month.
“What they did there was awesome for him and I thought – I want to do that, I want to be that nurse too, there for those parents whose babies might be
born early or born with disabilities.”
When her youngest child was two, she decided it was time to follow her ambition and enrolled at EIT – first in the Certificate of Health Science programme in 2012, then in the Bachelor of Nursing.
Bronwyn did a student placement in the unit and, although she knew they didn’t normally employ new graduates, as luck would have it there was a vacancy.
“It is the area I’ve always wanted to work in. I didn’t think it was possible to go into the neonatal unit because they don’t take new grads so I’m very, very stoked.”
After 14 years out of the education system, the Certificate of Health Sciences programme channelled her back into study and prepared her for the bachelor’s degree. It was still a challenge to juggle family and study.
“It was very good at EIT. The lecturers were very supportive. If you had any issues or you were struggling with anything you could go to see them.
They want you to succeed so they help you when you need it, and you form great friendships with your classmates.
“My husband Nick, and my family were really supportive and said ‘stick at it’ when it all seemed too much. As long as you have a good support network you can achieve anything. Some of my placements were shift work and Nick’s employer, The Gisborne Herald, let him take time off to look after our kids, which was really helpful. Sometimes I had to ask him to take the kids out for a couple of hours so I could study.”
“It was three years of hard work, and it has paid off.
I will do another post-graduate paper next year, but that’s okay. It’s good to say: ‘I’m done’. It’s nice to see the rewards, and I’ve got a job from it. We have been on a single income for 14 years, so it will be nice to finally get two incomes and get going.”