Yookyung - Mental health nursing

Master of Advanced Clinical Nursing

After Yookyung graduated she started searching for a way to contribute to mental health services and to help people with a mental health condition directly.

Advanced Clinical Nursing graduate (2020)

Why did you decide to further your studies?

"After I graduated from nursing degree and started a graduate position as mental health nurse, my hospital offered the opportunity for postgraduate study. I was lucky to be employed in the hospital that supported my further study. I also saw huge gap in my knowledge and limitation in mental health nursing skills. Bachelor’s nursing degree teaches very little about mental health nursing in general and I needed to learn how to best care for my patients."

What is most challenging about undertaking further study?

"Time management was the most difficult part during my study. It was particularly challenging for me as my study started at the same time as every other challenging thing in life such as moving interstate, new job, being a graduate nurse, moving in with my partner for the first time and COVID-19 pandemic."

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

"I felt a big sense of achievement when I submitted my last research proposal. I was able to write the proposal in the area that I am passionate about, which was personality disorder and having the opportunity to design the study to explore the knowledge gap and gathering evidences were really interesting and rewarding."

Have your grad studies changed your practice?

"Graduate study has provided me with practical skills and knowledge that I can apply in my nursing practice. Not only that, it has also given me a boost of confidence as a mental health nurse and the ability to critically think and always question instead of accepting the old and non evidence-based practice. I can also help my colleagues with what I learned from the course to improve their practice and to provide better care for the patients."

What about your future?

"I am still a young nurse. I still have a lot more to learn. I am going to develop myself to become a better nurse through experiences, senior nurses and professional development courses. Along with my career in Australia, I also want to explore opportunity to contribute to mental health care in South Korea in the future. Mental health illness is a big issue in South Korea with a striking number of suicides every year. It is slowly changing but there are still strong stigmas about mental health illnesses in the country and these stigmas are making it very difficult for people to seek help. There are many online portals available nowadays so I hope I can share my knowledge and expertise that I am gaining in Australia to people in South Korea."

…And any hints or tips for other nursing students?

"I have learned that best way to success is to be patient, resilient and to not to give up easily just because things are getting difficult, but I don’t push myself to breaking point. When things are becoming very difficult, I tell myself it is okay to be not okay, accept my vulnerability and reach out for help or give myself some time to heal."

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