Celia Willison

Celia Willison

Final-year student, Bachelor of Health Science (Nursing)

Her studies have made her feel well-prepared for her future career as a nurse, says Celia Willison who is graduating with a Bachelor of Health Science (Nursing) in August.

“I think the nursing degree has really given me a good base, and I’ve enjoyed the practical learning opportunities and clinical placements. I’ve been really lucky to get the clinical placements I wanted, which made my placements even more enjoyable. I felt well prepared for my placements through the lectures and labs I had.

“Through the different clinical placements I had I realised that I’d really like to work in paediatric emergency nursing. I love working with kids and would love to use my assessment and nursing skills to make a difference.”

Balancing study and sporting dreams
Successfully completing a nursing degree is certainly no small feat, but Celia has also managed to combine her studies with a promising sporting career. After first taking up sailing on her father’s yacht when she was eight, she is now ranked among the world’s top 10 women’s match race skippers.

“One thing I’m particularly proud of is that, together with my best friend and sailing partner, I received the award for the Best Female Athlete of the Year in my third year at university. I’m proud of how we’ve both managed to have pretty good grades and good sport results.

“I appreciate that AUT has been very supportive of me sporting-wise. For example, they allowed me to change exam dates so that I could compete. That really meant a lot to me.”

Celia’s next goal will be trying out for a place to compete in the Youth America’s Cup in Auckland this summer as part of the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron’s crew.

Advice for other students
Expecting to graduate this August, Celia has some great advice for other students thinking about becoming a nurse.

“If you want it bad enough and you’re sensible with your time, you’ll get there. It can be a bit of an emotional rollercoaster, but you’ll get there in the end.”

There is plenty of support available if you need it, Celia adds.

“The nursing lecturers and clinical educators are great because they’re experienced and knowledgeable in their own areas, and they’re all super supportive.”

Photography by Suellen Hurling

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