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Second degree paves the way to nursing career

December 14, 2020

Bachelor of Nursing student Julian Kairau is a man of many talents and interests.

Julian Kairau (Ngāpuhi) is one of the few male Bachelor of Nursing students at EIT. How the 27-year old got into nursing was not the typical route you would expect.

Growing up, Julian loved all sorts of sports, including kickboxing, weight lifting, and rugby. In fact, you name it, he loved it! So, it was not surprising that he was determined in his decision to pursue his education in this field. “I was sure that it would be a fun career – coaching people while staying healthy and in shape, and getting paid for it.” So he completed the Diploma and Bachelor’s degree in Sport and Recreation at EIT.

After his graduation he landed a job as full-time fitness instructor at the Pettigrew Green Arena gym. “I really liked it and I enjoyed helping people achieve their fitness goals.” However, as Julian got older and more mature he felt like he needed a new challenge.

At the gym he got talking with some nursing students and liked what they were telling him about their studies and career goals. Julian also had deep conversations with his older brother, who studies law and who tried to talk him into a law career, but Julian had already made up his mind. Nursing was his calling.

Four years after his first graduation, he returned to EIT and now, two years into the degree, he is still as enthusiastic as he was when he started. “I still have this passion for helping others but I also like the fact that there are so many different nursing avenues that I can pursue.”

Julian says that his learning approach has changed over the years. “As a first-time student I just wanted to pass my papers, I was probably too chilled and actually took quite a while to finish my diploma.” Now Julian is much more focused and determined to be a better student. Although he could have cross credited his anatomy and physiology papers he decided to do them all over again to consolidate his knowledge.

As well as his study, he also has a variety of part-time jobs that he juggles. He kept working at the PGA gym, runs staff fitness courses at Unison, and works as a Health Care Assistant in a rest home, which introduced him to some of the physical aspects of nursing, as well as challenging his communication and problem solving skills

Whilst Julian’s goal is to become a registered nurse, he is not sure about the area he wants to get into. Luckily for him, a nursing career is varied with many different employment options and areas of specialisation. “I just take it as it comes. My dream would be to work as a nurse while staying involved in sports.”