Nursing graduates overcome challenges

News News & events

25 Sep 2012

Samoan born, rugby player Edwin (Eddy) Elia is not your typical nurse and the young CPIT graduand wants to encourage more Pacific Island men into healthcare.

“I want to break down that ‘macho’ barrier and help more men, in particular Pacific Islanders, realise nursing as a career option. Our culture is about caring for each other which makes healthcare an ideal field of work,” Eddy says.

Eddy is one of five male Bachelor of Nursing graduands, of 73 in total, who will receive their degrees at CPIT’s spring graduation ceremony this Friday September 21.

The variety, unpredictability and mystery of nursing attracted him, despite the challenge of entering a female dominated profession.

“Most guys don’t think of nursing as a career option but it never stopped me. I play rugby and I did get a bit of a hard time but now the guys are accepting and interested in what I do,” he says.

Now working full-time at the Bealey 24 Hour Surgery, Eddy enjoys the unique, challenging cases and sometimes high-pressure environment.

“I like putting the clues together to work out what a patient has. As a nurse you are the patient’s voice and advocate. You spend the most time with them and get to watch their progress,” he says.

He is aiming high, planning to work towards his Masters to eventually become a nurse practitioner.


However, Eddy is not the only student who has faced challenges while pursuing his career in nursing. Graduating alongside him is Stacey Morgan, a young solo mum who came through Kimihia Parents’ College.

Studying nursing at CPIT saw Stacey living away from her daughter for up to six weeks at a time while on placements, relying on family to take care of her.

“My family have been such great support. I would not have been able to do it without them,” she says.

Just this week, Stacey started work at Ward 29 at Princess Margaret Hospital and she is excited about her future in the profession.

“Becoming a nurse is like Christmas to me. You get to build people up, back to that positive place. You are really helping people in the most satisfying way,” she says.

Both soon to be graduates agree that more people should look into healthcare as a career option, hoping that their stories will inspire people to tackle life’s challenges and pursue what they are truly passionate about.

Over 250 graduates will receive their qualifications in a variety of fields at CPIT’s spring graduation this Friday. It will be held at the CBS Arena with the ceremony commencing at 2pm.