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Julie Jackson


Nursing Graduate


It took Julie Jackson six years to decide to train to become a nurse. “I wish I’d done it sooner,” she says.

Julie had spent most of her working life in retail before seeking a more fulfilling career.
“I wanted to make a difference and have a positive impact. I’d always had an interest in health.” Losing a friend to cancer during her first year of study made Julie more determined to finish her degree. “she was my inspiration to do something more with my life”.

Julie embarked on three years of study at Whanganui uCOL for her Bachelor of Nursing degree, balancing that with the needs of her young family. They live on what she calls an ‘urban’ farm. “We’ve got a few animals, including chooks and a goat.”

The penny dropped for Julie in the final year
of nurse training while on placement at Te Waipuna medical Centre. “I felt I belonged there. I am used to dealing with people and enjoyed the personal contact. Being able to treat people as I would like to be treated,” she says.Julie spent four weeks in placement at
the medical Centre and a further seven weeks there completing her Transition to professional Nursing practice (TpNp). “I applied for a practice Nurse position there, was successful and started in January.”

Julie undertakes basic nursing activities, triaging patients and giving referrals. “I am developing a really broad knowledge base. There is so much variety and no two days are the same.” Julie is supported in her first year of nursing by the Nursing Entry to practice Expansion programme. It is a learning programme especially aimed at graduates working in community health by providing support, study days and continual training.

Eventually Julie would love to become a qualified Nurse practitioner, an aim she is working slowly towards by studying one or two papers per year. In the mean time she is happy to continue to gain experience in her new career, “I’m exactly where I want to be.”