Registered Nurse, Starship Children's Hospital
Postgraduate Certificate in Health Science in Child Health
Bachelor of Health Science (Nursing)
She has dreamt of becoming a nurse since she was a little girl, says nursing alumna Joanna Archer who now works at Starship Children's Hospital.
“I was fortunate to know my future career pretty much since I was a little kid; ever since I had my own personal experience at Starship Children’s Hospital. I’ve always loved working with people and their whānau, and I also have an interest in human anatomy, medications and pathophysiology. I’ve long looked up to nurses and I wanted to reflect the excellent healthcare they provide.
“I completed by Bachelor of Health Science (Nursing) at the end of 2020 and now work in the emergency department at Starship Children's Hospital. I very much love working here. I’ve been here for a year and a half, and have found my passion and learnt so much. Over the last year, I’ve also finished a Postgraduate Certificate in Health Science in Child Health and am planning to continue into the postgraduate diploma next year."
Joanna says she decided to come to AUT for her nursing degree because she was impressed by the mix of theory and practical work.
“I liked that the nursing programme offers a wide range of placements in all areas of nursing, and ensures that all students have a variety of experiences and develop a good understanding of different types of nursing. For me, the exposure to a wide range of clinical experiences sparked a passion for paediatric nursing, which I will forever be thankful for.”
Becoming a nurse
The nursing degree helped mould her as a student, as well as a person, Joanna says.
“It encouraged me to look at things holistically – especially when caring for patients – and taught me how to think critically and apply theory to practice. Each year builds on the previous year’s knowledge, which makes it very methodical and rewarding and you feel as though you’re getting somewhere.”
The people have been one of the highlights of Joanna’s studies.
“There were many great opportunities to mix and mingle with other students , whether it was in the labs, tutorials or lectures. I’ve met friends that will last a lifetime, and all the lecturers and educators genuinely want everyone to do well. They motivate and work around what is best for you, to ensure everyone can be the best nurse they can be.”
Advice for other students
Joanna has some great advice for other students.
“Honestly, the nursing degree can have its challenges at times, especially when you’re juggling your clinical placement, study and a part-time job. However, it’s the most rewarding and humbling degree, and you grow as a person throughout the three years of your study.”
Make the most of the university experience, she adds.
“Enjoying student life and socialising is a must, and it’s something the lecturers and clinical educators encourage. I’m very thankful for the experiences and knowledge AUT has given me. For example, I was fortunate enough to be a student ambassador and was able to help future AUT students, while also meeting some epic people and great role models outside of the nursing degree.”