Rachel Suesue

Rachel Suesue

3rd-year student, Bachelor of Health Science (Nursing)

Caring for her family through illness sparked her passion for wanting to help others, says Rachel Suesue who is studying a Bachelor of Health Science (Nursing).

“I aspire to become a registered nurse and am eager to refine my skills in general medicine. My goal is to serve my community, especially the Pacific and Māori communities who often face challenges in accessing healthcare. I want to provide compassionate care to those in need, and work towards ensuring that everyone has equal access to healthcare.

“My ultimate goal is to embark on a journey that allows me to travel the world, providing care to those in need while immersing myself in diverse cultures. I look forward to integrating the experiences and insights gained from these cultural exchanges into my nursing practice, enriching both my skills and the quality of care I provide.”

To help her achieve this goal, Rachel’s studies are supported by an AUT Find Your Greatness Scholarship and a Keir Trust Study Award.

“These invaluable scholarships have enabled me to pursue my passion for nursing while also providing critical financial support for me and my family. With this assistance, I can fully concentrate on my studies without the burden of worrying about how to cover my fees. Another significant advantage is the freedom from student debt, which is made possible by the flexibility that these scholarships provide in terms of course selection.”

A place to thrive
Rachel says she would highly recommend AUT’s nursing programme and its lively, diverse communities.

“The theoretical part of the nursing degree prepares us for real-life situations during our clinical placements where we get hands-on experience to reinforce what we've learnt. I love the variety of clinical placements – I've had the chance to work in community nursing, operating rooms, rest homes, mental health clinics and hospital wards. These diverse experiences not only improve my skills in each area but also help me figure out what I want to focus on in my future career.

“The nursing programme has also been instrumental in fostering a sense of belonging for myself and fellow Māori and Pasifika students. Through the establishment of Pacific and Māori cohorts, the programme ensures a culturally safe environment where we can learn and thrive surrounded by our community. This inclusive approach not only promotes a sense of ease but also enhances our learning experience by acknowledging our cultural identities.”

She has enjoyed the flexibility that comes with being a student.

“It enables me to have an exciting social experience while also completing the academic requirements of my degree. Engaging with diverse individuals across various courses has expanded my social circle while immersing me in an academically-focused environment. Being surrounded by likeminded classmates has not only fostered connection but also pointed me in the direction of my desired career path.”

Advice for other students
Now in the final year of her studies, Rachel has some great advice for other students.

“Work hard and don't give up; the journey may be difficult, but the rewards will be enormous when you begin your professional career. Consider the sacrifices made by your village and parents to further your education, and always remember your why and whose shoulders you stand on. Use it to motivate you in your studies.

“Seize every opportunity that crosses your path – each one has the potential to be a valuable learning experience and an intriguing story to share in the future. So, don't hesitate to meet new people and develop new friendships along the way. Have fun, and remember to take mental health days and breaks when needed.”

She also has some specific advice around applying for scholarships to support your studies.

“I recommend applying for as many scholarships as you can. AUT and organisations like Te Whatu Ora provide numerous scholarships that can greatly benefit your studies. Scholarships can alleviate the burden of student debt, giving you more financial freedom to focus on your studies.”