William Jones had always been interested in biology and health sciences so when he left high school he headed to university where he studied physiology. However, he says, "when it came to the end of the degree, I realised that working in a lab wasn't going to give me the variety or level of human interaction that I enjoy".
After a three-year O.E., William returned to New Zealand ready to get serious about his career. He spoke to family and friends – including some who were Registered Nurses or nursing students - about his options. "I'd always had massive respect for nurses but I thought 'they just wash sick people and dish out medications' but the more people I talked to about nursing, the more it lined up with my values and what I wanted out of a career."
With nursing beginning to make a lot of sense to William, he started looking at study options. "I talked to people who'd finished or were currently working towards the Bachelor of Nursing degree. What appealed to me about CPIT was the accessibility of the nursing faculty staff and the level of interest they took in students as individuals. It seemed students were treated more as future colleagues than just faces in the lecture theatre, which had been my experience at university."
William decided to apply for our three-year Bachelor of Nursing degree and was accepted. The good things he'd heard about CPIT's (now Ara Institute of Canterbury) tutors hadn't been exaggerated. "The tutors were great, very personable and supportive. They really want every student to thrive and to find their niche."
Clinical placements are an integral part of CPIT's Bachelor of Nursing programme and William describes them as a highlight of his study. His placements saw him working in mental health, surgical and community settings. "It was great to integrate the theoretical knowledge gleaned at CPIT into practise, and having the support of the Clinical Nurse Leaders. All of my CNLs were awesome – they're experts in their areas and I thoroughly enjoyed picking their brains and being challenged by them."
Soon after graduating William found employment with the Canterbury District Health Board in post anaesthetic care, an area he loves. "It's an exciting and challenging role which includes off-site work," he says. "It involves working with an incredibly diverse and vulnerable patient population and it draws on all the holistic assessment skills covered during my training."
William is keen to build on his knowledge and skills in the area of health with some post-graduate study. "I'm particularly interested in pharmacology and pain management," he says. More travel is also on the cards. "Once I've gained some experience I'd love to do some overseas aid work.