"I wanted a career where there was both science and opportunities to make a difference in someone’s life, so nursing seemed like the way to go... Throughout this degree, I have been able to link theory to practice, developing a myriad of different skills including personal resilience, self-care and critical thinking."
Minn graduated from the Master of Nursing Science in 2019, after completing the Bachelor of Science in 2017 and Trinity College Foundation Studies in 2014, all at the University of Melbourne.
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Why the Master of Nursing Science?
I always thought I was going to work in the field of research so when the opportunity arose, I accepted and did research for six months. Despite loving the science involved, I missed having a personal connection with people and learning about their lives. I wanted a career where there was both science and opportunities to make a difference in someone’s life, so nursing seemed like the way to go.
Nurses are the frontline of healthcare. To be able to support my patients through their darkest, most distressing times as well as celebrate joyous occasions with them is an honour. I love being able to give back to the community and to make a different in someone’s life.
The best thing about the Master of Nursing Science is the small cohort (around 150 students) to form close knit bonds and having placement spots arranged in advance. Also, the course being two years meant I would be able to get out into the workforce earlier.
Throughout this degree, I have been able to link theory to practice, developing a myriad of different skills including personal resilience, self-care and critical thinking. Most importantly, I gained more insight into self-awareness and self-regulation. I think the quality of teaching is quite high. Assignments and readings are tough – but you do learn. I’ve had some great lecturers who are really knowledgeable and dedicated to teaching and to the nursing profession. I also love the idea of having a group research component within this degree. We started our project in Semester 2 of Year 1 and continued until Semester 1 of Year 2, with the possibility of publication.
Why the University of Melbourne?
Choosing to complete my postgraduate degree at the University of Melbourne was not difficult as I completed my undergraduate here and was familiar with the process.
I’ve made some amazing friends, everyone’s been really supportive, and in the midst of all the work, we’ve been having a heap of fun together.
Nursing placement in Nepal:
In the last semester of my Master of Nursing Science, together with five other students and one lecturer, I went to Nepal for my nursing placement. The placement was organised by the Department of Nursing at the University of Melbourne in partnership with Student Volunteer Placements International (SVPI) and Children’s Welfare and Opportunity Network (CWON).
The Australian nursing team paired up with four Nepalese doctors, several translators and CWON’s organisers Keshab and Raj, to run health camps and provide health education across the Chitwan region. Together we ran two health camps and three women’s health education sessions for several remote communities with little access to other healthcare services.
Over the two weeks, we helped 400 people in the health camps and 200 women in the education sessions. We ran the first health camp in the Chepang Hills. To get there the team and twelve porters had to hike up hills for over eight hours to get to the remote village. We hiked from 100m to 1440m above sea level. The second health camp was a five-hour drive deep into the Chitwan jungle right up against the Nepal-Indian border. At all camps and sessions, the Nepalese community was very welcoming and generous.
Prior to the placement, we fundraised and donated over $6,400 for the people of Chitwan. This money funded medical supplies, hygiene supplies and food for the running of the health camps. It will also go on to find over 40 people’s specialist medical appointments and surgeries. This was possible due to the generosity and hard work the Melbourne University Nursing Students Society (MUNSS), the Master of Nursing staff and students, and our friends and family.
During our time in Nepal we furthered our nursing skills and practice, as well as our cultural safety and awareness. During the placement, we were able to improve our nursing triage, wound care, teamwork and communication skills. We also learn about the Nepalese culture, traditions, native animals and countryside, and met some very interesting people.
Health Assistant in Nursing (HAN) at the Royal Melbourne Hospital:
As a Health Assistant in Nursing, my job is to improve the continuity of care and the provision of patient-centred care. I assist with supervision of falls risk patients and patients with delirium and behavioural issues, assisting with feeding and mobility.
Graduate Registered Nurse (RN) at the Royal Melbourne Hospital:
Graduate Registered Nurses are vital members of the multidisciplinary healthcare team who strive to deliver excellent care to patients and their families. We provide quality care which focuses on the best possible outcomes for our patients.
Advice for students
Just like everything else, be prepared for hard work, stay committed and consistently reflect on your goals and your journey. Hard work does pay off. It is okay to ask for help; utilise the support available.
Transition from Singapore to Australia:
Transitioning from the education system in Singapore to Australia was undoubtedly tough but the University and lecturers provided ample support. There are workshops to help with referencing and essay writing, and services which help to proofread resumes and cover letters. The overwhelming amount of student support services made student life so much easier.