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Compassion and empathy for others key for EIT | Te Pūkenga nursing student

April 4, 2023

EIT | Te Pūkenga ākonga (student) Emma Stuart says she is glad she chose nursing as a career.

EIT | Te Pūkenga ākonga (student) Emma Stuart’s deep sense of compassion and empathy for others, makes her well-suited to a career in nursing.

“I am so glad I chose nursing because I can see how much of a passion I have for nursing and for  helping people within the community.”

The 22-year-old, who is now in the second semester of her first year of the Bachelor of Nursing at EIT | Te Pūkenga, won the Noeileen Isaacs Scholarship for Nursing in her first semester last year.

Emma says she was motivated to apply for the scholarship because of the financial impact COVID-19 has had on everyone.

“I think because the past few years of COVID has been quite hard financially for me, so that’s a huge reason why I wanted to apply for it. It’s not just me, but everyone’s been struggling financially. This will just be amazing.”

Although Emma was not personally affected by Cyclone Gabrielle, she is shocked by the devastation and is adjusting to a change of venue for her studies.

Emma, who has both Japanese and Scottish heritage, was born in New Zealand and lives with her mum and younger brother, who she says are “super supportive” of her decision to study nursing at EIT | Te Pūkenga.

“I love EIT. I love how much of a community environment it is here, and I like that it’s smaller than university too. Here you feel included, and I love that all the tutors are amazing.”

To demonstrate her commitment to her nursing studies and to ensure she had the best chance at success, Emma enrolled in the NZ Certificate in Study and Career Preparation  at EIT | Te Pūkenga.

“I thought doing the Study and Career Prep course was a good way to refresh my knowledge. Yeah, I’m really glad I did that, and now I’m doing nursing.”

In 2018, Emma followed her dream of becoming a dancer when she moved to Melbourne, Australia, to study fulltime. A year later, life took an unexpected turn when she fell ill and was forced to return home to New Zealand.

“With my dancing I got quite sick. I had a really bad eating disorder. I also got the flu quite bad. It was actually worse than COVID for me. I flew back home from Melbourne just to recover. Unfortunately, that made me have to take a step back and reconsider my options.”

Emma’s changing circumstances also brought about new realisations about the dance world and about what she wanted for herself moving forward.   

Emma, who lost her dad to heart failure when she was 13-years-old, says that she’s found a new passion, one she never realised she had.

“I’m really passionate about nursing and I think studying nursing has ignited that passion that I didn’t know I had inside of me. I would love to work in the health industry as a nurse and yeah maybe cardiology would be something I’d be quite interested in.”

With so many possibilities available for nurses, Emma is keen to keep her options open to what sector she may choose to work in when she graduates as a nurse and realises her dream.

Katherine Williams, Bachelor of Nursing Programme Coordinator at EIT | Te Pūkenga, says: “Emma’s passion for nursing has been shown through her commitment with her studies and attitude whilst on clinical practicum.”

“Her application for the Noeileen Isaacs scholarship clearly communicated her desire to pursue nursing using a holistic framework. We wish Emma all the best with her studies this semester and look forward to her finishing and becoming a Registered Nurse.”