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Deakin University

  • 21% international / 79% domestic

Monica Fortinez

I knew I wanted to be a Registered Nurse so I knew I had to study further to achieve that goal.

What did you study at the undergraduate level and when did you graduate? What are you studying now? Are you studying and working at the same time?

My job title is a registered nurse. I studied a Bachelor of Nursing and I graduated in 2017 with a distinction. 

What have been the most important stages of your life?

I am only 21; I went to university straight out of my high school year 12. I think the most important stage of my life was the last year of high school; it was probably one of the most fun years. And also my university degree was a very important 3 years.

How did you get to your current (or most recent) job position and how long have you been working there?

I applied for a grad nurse position straight out of uni and I secured the job a few months before I had graduated from uni. This was in October 2017. I am still working for the company.

What made you decide to progress with further study?

Both my parents are nurses. I always knew and expected I wanted to go to university. I never saw myself going straight into the workforce after just finishing year 12. I knew I wanted to be a Registered Nurse so I knew I had to study further to achieve that goal.

How did you choose your particular further study course (compared to others)? / Were you weighing up any alternative degrees or career pathways before choosing this qualification?

Yes, I had an interest in criminology. I still do but that's all it really is, an interest. However, I did think about doing a double degree in Nursing and Midwifery but just decided to go with only Nursing. Although midwifery is not yet out of the picture. I would still consider doing that too.

What was the process to get accepted into your course? What were the prerequisites?

The course for a Bachelor of Nursing at Deakin University needed an ATAR above 70. The prerequisite was that you needed to get at least a score of 25 as a study score in English. Also, I knew people who got less than 70 ATAR and still got in!

What does your study involve? Can you describe a typical day? (if it’s difficult to describe a typical day, tell us about the last thing you worked on?)

The first year was probably the messiest year as you are trying to get used to university life and self-directed learning. You are not spoon-fed information like in high school. After the first year, I did not have any lectures, the day was filled with tutorials and pracs. It was hands-on and you worked as a team with your classmates. It was fun! I loved going. 

Will this course be beneficial in your career? Where could you or others in your position go from here? Please explain your answer.

Yes, it is very beneficial as you need to do the course to become a registered nurse. And then from there, you can specialise in pretty much anything! And do further specialised studies eg. Critical care, theatre postgrads. Nursing can take you anywhere! Hospital work, clinics, cruise ships, the military! Etc.

What do you love the most about your course?

What I love the most about my course is that it is not your typical university course where you sit in a lecture theatre and write notes down off a PowerPoint. It was very hands-on and interactive. We had pracs, we had to go out on placement and learn things hands-on in the real world. You learnt how the workforce and the industry works, not just what it says in the textbooks! 

What are the limitations of your course?

An essential part of the course is, of course, going to clinical placements. This was like working full time except for free! So that was hard having to give up your job or take time off (therefore your income) to go on the placements. And of course, it was shift work too! Also, the anatomy and physiology were very hard. But doable. 

Which three pieces of advice would you give to a current undergraduate student? They don’t necessarily have to be related to your studies, or even to one’s professional life.

  1. Attend the classes! Seriously go to the classes. You are paying for them in the end!
  2. Make some friends. University can be lonely. So sit next to the same people that you click with. Join some clubs. (I joined the cheerleading club and it was amazing!).
  3. It's a few years of your life, work hard and it will pay off I promise you.