Alana - Paediatric nursing

Master of Advanced Clinical Nursing

Alana is a paediatric nurse at the Monash Children’s Hospital and decided to do her graduate degree after reaching a level of comfortability within her nursing skill base and clinical competency.

Advanced Clinical Nursing graduate (2020)

Why did you decide to further your studies?

“I reached a level of comfortability within my nursing skill base and clinical competency. I wanted to find a course that would help consolidate years of knowledge whilst simultaneously challenging me to engage and learn new things.”

What is most challenging about undertaking further study?

“Balancing shift work, lifestyle and university workload has been a challenge at times as was studying during a global pandemic with online learning but I found solace knowing I wasn’t the only person doing this.”

Can you describe a part of your course when you remember having that ‘lightbulb’ moment?

‘I found my study and practice really came together during the course, when the pathophysiology and theory links in with a patient you have cared for… and you completely understand it! There were many ‘ah-ha!’ moments when I truly grasped why we were doing a treatment and why certain medications where given or withheld. It’s an awesome feeling when things start to make sense.”

What has been your biggest sense of achievement during your graduate studies?

“The biggest sense of achievement for me comes from being able to pass on my new found knowledge to my peers. Having a higher sense of understanding has enabled me to be a better nurse educator to others. I get a lot of fulfilment in helping younger nurses grasp topics and assist them in understanding patient conditions better. There is also always an awesome sense of achievement when you receive assignment results back, especially when you worked really hard on the essay. help others grow.”

Have your grad studies changed your practice?

“I am able to link the science behind the practice and I am really thankful for this. It has enabled me to truly understand patient conditions and treatment. Alongside this, I was able to understand my preceptor skills and learn how to conduct myself as an authentic leader.”

What about your future?

“I have a strong pull to take my nursing skills out of metropolitan Melbourne and into some outback communities. In five years times I would love to be in rural Australia helping families in remote areas gain better access to healthcare.“

…And any hints or tips for other nursing students?

“There is not one day that is the same. Sometimes I think I have seen it all, until surprises catch me off guard! I always knew nursing was a fast-paced profession, but some days I am still shocked by how many km’s I can clock up in a shift.  So my Hot tip is  - invest in good shoes!!”

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