A Cootamundra woman who made a mid-life career switch from banking to nursing has thanked TAFE NSW for helping her find her new calling.
Annette Kelly said the better job security on offer, and a yearning to enter a caring profession, prompted her to enrol in a Diploma of Nursing at Cootamundra TAFE in 2018.
While working as a personal banker for ANZ, Mrs Kelly was thrust into the role as palliative care nurse a family member, an experience that convinced her that nursing was for her.
"Everyone kept telling me I should be a nurse and I'd had this itch for more than five years," she said.
"As my 40th birthday approached, I just decided to give it a go.
"I was worried about job security in the bank and I thought I'd do something about it and go to TAFE to re-train and do something I really wanted to do."
Over the past five years, almost 17 per cent of Australian jobs created were in healthcare, but the nation is predicted to have an estimated shortfall of 120,000 nurses by 2030, according to the Department of Jobs and Small Business.
Mrs Kelly, 43, said despite being the oldest student in her class, her time at TAFE was a "wonderful experience".
"I loved TAFE and the interaction with classmates and teachers was so different to school," she said.
"The teachers were there for us whenever we needed them, even outside class time. TAFE gave me the practical skills to be in a career I love."
After a short stint as an assistant in nursing at Southern Cross Care, Mrs Kelly secured a job as an enrolled nurse at Harden Hospital in April 2020.
"It's great to be able to help people and put into practice what I leaned at TAFE," she said.
TAFE NSW Head Teacher of Nursing Cheryl Bradshaw said nursing was a growth industry that offered great employment prospects and job satisfaction.
"You get to interact with so many different walks of life and you can make a real difference to them, often when they're at their worst moment," she said.
"If you go to any hospital in the Riverina, you'll find TAFE graduates providing comfort to patients.
The Diploma of Nursing is an 18-month course, with students gaining hands-on experience during clinical placements at local hospitals. The Diploma has two intakes annually at Cootamundra TAFE.
To find out more about studying nursing at TAFE NSW, phone 13 16 01 or visit www.tafensw.edu.au.
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