Celebrating 25 years of nursing & midwifery

In 1990, UON’s School of Nursing and Midwifery proudly pioneered the development of the nursing and midwifery disciplines in the Hunter region.

Today, more than 8,200 nursing and midwifery students from Australia and across the globe have graduated. Many graduates now work as health professionals in Australia and aboard, contributing to better health outcomes for the community. Others are making new, life-changing discoveries as researchers.

For third year nursing student Brooke Trimble, the future looks bright. In a few weeks, she’ll don her graduation cap and pursue her dream career as a paediatric nurse. But before she starts a new adventure, Brooke took a moment to reflect on her three years at UON – and what it really means to be a nurse.

Why nursing?

I’ve always wanted to be a nurse. It’s the type of career that makes your heart warm, pound, skip a beat and ache every day.

I remember my first ever tutorial. My tutor, Lynne Slater, asked our class: “What sort of nurse do you want to be?” The thoughts I wrote down that day are still with me three years later, and are a constant motivator for me. I answered: I want to be the nurse who nurtures and builds, understands and forgives. I want to treat others how I’d like to be treated, help those who can’t help themselves, and leave people better than I found them.

Hardest moment during your studies?

My first nursing placement at Ronald McDonald House; my heart strings were pulled hard. Afterwards, I had a debrief with my tutor Lynne. I cried because I didn’t think I was strong enough to be a nurse, even though it was my dream. I was simply too emotional, I explained to Lynne. She sat through my tears, and calmly replied: “This is why you need to be a nurse Brooke. You care, and that’s the most important thing.”

Best memory of UON?

Travelling to Cambodia with UON in 2013 (pictured), alongside 13 nursing students and two mentors. We worked alongside local nurses to provide critical health support to kids. I was nervous, excited and hopeful that we could make a difference. The Cambodia trip also opened my eyes to the resources and support we have here in Australia.

Who is someone who helped you through?

Without the support of my university tutors, I wouldn’t be where I am today – preparing to graduate as a nurse. UON nursing facilitators were with me at every step to talk me through my feelings of self-doubt, fear, or the pain of losing a patient.

Final thoughts?

I’m proud to be a UON student, and grateful for the opportunity to study my passion. The biggest compliment I’ve ever received is: “you were born to be a nurse”. Maybe I was born to be a nurse, but UON helped make it a reality.

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