Jess - Emergency nursing

Master of Advanced Clinical Nursing

Jess found that her graduate studies has given her the skills to reflect on her own practice and to actively try to improve each day - "I am now able to look after critically unwell patients and be an active participant in their care."

Emergency nursing student

Why did you decide to further your studies?

“Helping people has always been in my nature, becoming a nurse was something that came to me in my teen years. As soon as I began studying, I knew emergency nursing was for me, there’s something about the chaos that speaks to my soul.

I completed my undergrad at Monash, and had a really good experience studying there. I was always treated with respect and I had incredible learning opportunities, so studying elsewhere for my postgrad was never an option for me.”

What is most challenging about undertaking further study?

“For me the two most challenging aspects of post grad for me were almost losing my fiancé, he became very suddenly unwell and had emergency surgery which saved his life, 27 days in hospital and a five-month recovery during my postgrad year was incredibly difficult. And the other challenge was the pressure I put on myself to continue to be high achiever and do well, sometimes being your own biggest critic is a blessing but also a curse."

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

"The whole postgrad year was full of ‘lightbulb’ moments for me. However, one defining moment was when I finally understood BiPAP. I had spent weeks on end studying, watching YouTube, asking my mentors and educators; trying to learn the concepts of BiPAP. I recall asking my mentor if we could have an education session at work, where I explained BiPAP to him as if I were teaching him about BiPAP. I was able to independently explain BiPAP, and it was at that moment, that everything ‘clicked’ and I finally realised I had the right knowledge and level of understanding. This made me too excited to continue seeking “lightbulb” moments."

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

"I still remember doing my last grad rotation in ED, and knowing I never wanted to leave. The teamwork, the culture and my colleagues were all incredible and I remember feeling like “this is home, these are my people”. From that moment on, I knew that I was on the right trajectory and I knew I would be supported in my career. Completing the course was definitely a sense of achievement, I still remember the days I dreamed of being where I am today, and sometimes I still can’t believe it!"

Have your grad studies changed your practice?

“Postgrad has changed my practice in so many ways, I am now able to look after critically unwell patients and be an active participant in their care. I feel more equipped to have discussion with doctors about the best care to give to our patients. Postgrad has also given me the skills to reflect on my own practise and actively try to improve each day."

What about the future?

“In 5 years time, I would love to be a CNS. Recently I have found a love for mentoring, educating and helping junior staff. I am currently a lead of our post grad portfolio; I would love to continue to develop that portfolio and enhance our resus team and culture.”

…And any hints or tips for other nursing students?

“Make the most of every opportunity and every moment, you never know what’s around the corner."

Download the Emergency nursing flyer