Becoming a nurse was a lifelong dream of Colleen Miceli, which was finally achieved this year when she completed her Diploma of Nursing (HLT54115) at SuniTAFE.
After living in remote East Arnhem Land, Northern Territory, Colleen relocated to Mildura where she commenced the Diploma of Nursing program as a mature-aged student.
The mother of five and grandmother to five said nursing has been a passion of hers for 20 years; however, due to raising children and frequently relocating to various cities due to her husband’s work, was unable to fulfill her ambitions.
“It was after returning from the Northern Territory, that I researched options in fulfilling those ambitions and enquired at SuniTAFE about the Diploma of Nursing,” she said.
“Although I was very nervous and I hadn’t studied since 1992, my family and friends encouraged me to enrol in the Diploma of Nursing program.
“The Diploma of Nursing is a full-time two-year program, which requires dedication and commitment. The program includes theory lessons and clinical placement training. Initially, the course was face-to-face, however, COVID-19 hit six weeks in and we transitioned to online learning. This was a huge challenge for me as I had only managed to operate the computer for my assignments, and suddenly I had to navigate Zoom and being in lockdown.
“Completing the Diploma of Nursing was extremely rewarding. I had fulfilled my ambition and felt a great sense of achievement.
“The most rewarding part is being able to help people on a daily basis and hopefully make a difference in their lives. This includes not only patients but also their family members, and my colleagues.”
Colleen said it was a “privilege” to study at SuniTAFE and fulfill her dream, having obtained employment as a nurse in a local aged care facility.
“Nursing has been a strong passion of mine as I wanted to make a difference and help people in their most vulnerable state,” she said.
“Whenever I entered a hospital, I observed the medical staff with admiration. I wished that I was the nurse.
“I tell people that doing the Diploma of Nursing was very worthwhile and the course content was very comprehensive. It has provided me with a good start to my Nursing career. The knowledge of the lecturers, their experience, and their dedication shown throughout the course was remarkable.
“The knowledge that I have obtained is far beyond what I had prior to starting the course. I refer to my training daily, reflecting on what I learned in placement, and within the educational facility.
“We were provided with best evidence-based practice to further our skills. We had some challenges throughout our course, but I am very proud of the way my peers and I managed to rise above these challenges to finish our course.”
Colleen was recognised at the 2022 SuniTAFE Mildura graduation for her hard work and dedication to her Diploma of Nursing and was awarded the Student of the Year - Diploma/Advanced Diploma and Health High Achiever. SuniTAFE Vocational Student of the Year recognises outstanding achievement by a vocational student in a course of study leading to a nationally recognised qualification.