Denise - Nurse Practitioner

Master of Advanced Clinical Nursing

For Denise, the Nurse Practitioner course reaffirmed her role in nursing  “we were discussing the professional aspects of being a nurse practitioner. As a NP, we may meet a lot of challenges in the real world, and opportunities don’t always come if we wait for it. I realised during this discussion that we are relevant members of the healthcare team, and we must always demonstrate that. We do not always get a seat at the table, sometimes we have to create it.”

Nurse Practitioner graduate (2020)

Why did you decide to further your studies?

“I originally wanted to go into medicine when I was younger. I studied overseas and we needed to complete an undergraduate degree prior to applying for medical school. Coming from a family of nurses, I have seen the work of my aunties and cousins and admired their hard work and the amount of knowledge they have, which they easily translated at home while caring for our family as well. I was in awe of the discipline that nurses had, and how well-rounded they are as individuals, and I aspired to be like that too. When I finished nursing, I took a break from school and started working in Nephrology for a year and the plan was to go to medical school after that, but I enjoyed the work and the rapport with the patients and decided that nursing is after all my career choice. I chose the path of being a nurse practitioner, especially in renal, because I wanted to be able to work more independently, to highlight the individual work that nurses do that does not get enough recognition by our other peers. I wanted to be able to make decisions I would be accountable for, decisions that would greatly improve the health and well-being of my patients.

I chose Monash because it is widely recognised in the world as a reputable institution, and I wanted to be able to complete my studies in a university that prioritises student welfare while ensuring quality education."

What is most challenging about undertaking further study?

“The most challenging aspect of my postgraduate studies was doing it while working full-time in a busy unit, doing shift work and on call shifts. The study load was heavy, but I expected it. However, it was particularly challenging to balance both, especially when meeting deadlines."

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

“My biggest sense of achievement came when I was able to demonstrate competence in the clinical aspects of my specialisation and being able to apply it in my daily work.”

Have your grad studies changed your practice?

“I have been more meticulous with patient care since having my qualification, being more vigilant with assessments, investigations and history taking. I make sure that the plan of care I make is realistic for both the patient and the healthcare team, and that this is evaluated. I am more reflective of my practice now since completing my graduate degree.”

What about the future?

“I envision myself to be a fully practicing Nurse Practitioner in nephrology, and hopefully have been able to create extensions to practice that were once thought to be a doctor-only capacity. I aim to never lose sight of why we do what we do – to improve patient care. I hope that in five years, I would have been able to pave the way for more Nurse Practitioners and to spread the message that we are a vital part of the workforce.”

…And any hints or tips for other nursing students?

"Being a nurse wasn’t my original end goal. However, life doesn’t always play out the way you plan it to be. I realise now you are planted where you are needed, whether you know it at the time or not. The key is to always be flexible, and accountable for all the choices you make. I believe that we must be unstoppable, work hard, have some fire and not to stop until we are proud of ourselves. Having goals is one thing but getting there is the more important part of the journey, and how you do it decides on whether you get there successfully or not.”

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