Final-year student, Bachelor of Health Science (Nursing)
Her final clinical placement proved to be a lightbulb moment, says Briar Hornell who is graduating with a Bachelor of Health Science (Nursing) this August and plans to work in mental health nursing.
“I was working in a mental health community team for my final placement, and this is where I truly found my passion. I knew I was passionate about mental illness but I hadn’t been sure how I could pursue that passion in my career as a nurse. This placement was a standout moment for me and there were definitely fireworks when I realised this could be my career.
“I have a genuine desire and passion to work within mental health and have appreciated the holistic approach mental health nursing brings. My aim is to work in a community-based setting after I graduate, working with people from all walks of life who struggle with mental illness. I also intend to address the health inequities that LGBTQIA+ people face, as I want to remove the barriers and stigma many people experience.”
A journey of growth
For Briar, it was always clear that she wanted to work in healthcare.
“I have an interest in people and the human body, so studying nursing felt like the perfect fit. I chose to study at AUT because of how highly recognisable it is overseas, and because it includes a large amount of practical skill building. Another reason I decided to come to AUT is because of its involvement and support for the LGBTQIA+ community. As someone in that community, having a university with an appreciation for diversity and support was an important tick for me.”
Throughout her studies she has enjoyed watching her confidence grow, says Briar who received a Kate Edgar Scholarship.
“I’ve enjoyed proving to myself that I can do it. I went into university with some self-doubt, and had a private tutor through my first year of university. From there, I’ve just excelled and have proven to myself that if you put your mind to it you can achieve great things. I’ve really enjoyed seeing my own confidence grow.”
Advice for other students
Expecting to graduate this August, Briar has some great advice for other students.
“If you put in the time, you’ll be rewarded. You may have times where you want to throw in the towel but hang in there; it’s a very normal feeling. If self-doubt or lack of confidence is stopping you from studying at university level, take the leap of faith. It’ll be worth it, and you can do it. I’ve definitely proven this.”
There are lots of different career paths within nursing, she adds.
“It may take some time to find your career path but when you do it is worth it. That is one of the magical parts of nursing – there are so many options and paths you can take.”