Registered Nurse, Waitakere Hospital
Master of Nursing Science
Bachelor of Health Science
She loved being able to gain practical experience as part of her nursing degree, says Marisa Letoa Chu Ling who graduated with a Master of Nursing Science in March 2021.
“I already had a Bachelor of Health Science from AUT and wanted to get into nursing to make a difference in the community, especially working alongside Māori and Pacific people. I want to help them have better health outcomes and improve their health literacy.
“One reason I enjoyed my studies was being able to complete clinical placements as you can put your nursing knowledge to use. Taking care of the patients and seeing that you made a difference in their day makes all the hours of study worthwhile and brings things back into perspective for yourself. It’s a humbling experience.”
Since completing her studies, Marisa now works as a registered nurse in the Muriwai ward at Waitakere Hospital; the biggest assessment, treatment and rehabilitation ward in New Zealand.
“This ward focuses a lot on providing holistic care to patients and their families through embracing the Whare Tapa Wha model and the values of the Waitakere District Health Board. I love working in such a strong multidisciplinary team with different health professions working together to ‘afi’ or support the patient and families towards better health outcomes. I have a great team I work alongside. They are very supportive, and there is never a dull moment.”
Supported to thrive
What she enjoyed most about her studies was the journey, says Marisa who previously worked as a customer representative and was a full-time mum to her son before coming to AUT.
“I would highly recommend this programme to others because of the versatility and future opportunities. With the Master of Nursing Science it takes two years to become a registered nurse, which will open a lot more doors for me and my family.”
The support you get from the nursing staff is second to none, Marisa says.
“I’ve never received this much support! The lecturers helped me believe in myself and realise that I’m more than capable of finishing the programme and become the best registered nurse I can be. The staff supported me through every assignment, lecture and clinical placement I had. If I ever ran into any extenuating issues outside of study, I felt comfortable enough to talk to them about it.
“It takes a village to raise a graduate, and they were a part of my village, and I never would have been able to finish this programme without this amazing group of lecturers.”
Advice for other students
Marisa has some great advice for other students.
“This programme can be full on, however don’t let that stop you. As a student, you need to take it one day at a time. Once you’re able to master that, you’ll have no problems with the rest of the programme. Open communication with the academic staff and asking for help early is key if you’re running into any unforeseen circumstances. I’ve gone through so much personally, but don’t let that stop your dreams. Refocus and get back on track.”
Marisa says coming to university as an adult student was the best decision she made.
“There are always going to be people around you that will doubt your ability, but if you have a passion to make a difference in people’s lives, put that passion into action and apply for the programme. What do you have to lose?”