Jonette Scott has a passion for being a nurse, but there's a surprising reason why she's turned her back on the profession.
Ms Scott has been named TasTAFE's Head of Nursing, a new role that will oversee the delivery and management of enrolled nursing courses statewide, with the headquarters based in the North.
The Launceston-born-and-bred enrolled nurse said despite a bit of negative publicity about the health sector in Tasmania, there was "never a better time to become an enrolled nurse."
All students wishing to become an enrolled nurse study their diploma at TasTAFE then afterwards can decide if they wish to enter the workforce, or retrain at either TasTAFE or university to become a registered nurse.
Ms Scott said enrolled nurses have become higher in demand than registered nurses because ENs do the bulk of patient care, while RNs are responsible for higher-level decision-making and pain management plans.
"You are seeing more and more enrolled nurses popping up in places that you've never seen them before, you're seeing them in general practice [for the delivery of immunisations etc] or communities. ENs are also in every ward of the Launceston General Hospital," she said.
You are seeing more and more enrolled nurses popping up in places that you've never seen them before, you're seeing them in general practice [for the delivery of immunisations etc] or communities.TasTAFE Head of Discipline Nursing and Registered Nurse Jonette Scott
While a patient might not know the difference or experience the difference in the level of care, ENs and RNs work together in satellite teams, so the level of understanding and theoretical knowledge is enormous.
Ms Scott said in Tasmania right now, there were "enormous job opportunities" for people training to be an EN.
That's why the delivery of TasTAFE's Diploma of Nursing needs to be cutting edge and up-to-date with modern techniques, which makes it once of the most challenging and demanding courses offered.
Ms Scott has overseen a transformation of the course specifications, with the first cohort of students going through the new and improved diploma from next year.
Some of the changes made to the course include the staging of practical placement, along with the introduction of a new tailor-made unit on disability.
Ms Scott said the National Disability Insurance Scheme had created a new employment avenue for nurses and was included in the new and improved course during consultation with industry partners.
'Choosing to teach'
Launceston has always been the home for nursing at TasTAFE and Ms Scott said that would continue, with her goals to deliver a modern, cutting-edge course to equip the next generation.
"There is that saying that 'if you can't do, you teach' and I totally reject that," she said.
"I love nursing, and so do all of the teaching staff at TasTAFE, and they are skilled nurses in their own right - they are choosing to teach."
Passion for caring is what led Ms Scott towards a teaching path, after working some years in a clinical setting.
"Teaching is not that much different to nursing," she said.
"Nursing is patient-centred care; teaching is the same - except you're focused on the student rather than someone sick."
She said she hoped her passion would rub off on her student cohort.
"I want them to love nursing as much as I do," she said.
Ms Scott said she relished in her students' success and her favourite part about her new position was graduation day.
Collaboration is key
TasTAFE chief executive Jenny Dodd said nursing was one of the organisation's mainstay courses but changes in the future will mean nursing education options would be even more mainstream.
Discussions have been ongoing between TasTAFE and the University of Tasmania about TasTAFE having a presence for nursing on the site of the new $260 million Inveresk campus development.
"Nursing and health are two industries where we are projecting huge growth for employment opportunities," Ms Dodd said.
"This is a trend for Tasmania, because of our ageing population, but also nationally, and one of the reasons for that is that it's a caring discipline - you can't automate that."
Ms Dodd said co-location options for nursing at the Inveresk campus would streamline the education options exactly what shape the co-location would look like is still to be decided.
With the first stage of the Inveresk campus approved through the City of Launceston council, it is still some years before stage three, which is expected to include the health building on Willis Street.
However, in the meantime, nursing will continue to operate from the Launceston city campus buildings until the end of Semester 1, 2020.
After that, nursing will be relocated to the Alanvale campus, which will undergo a $4 million upgrade to allow for relocation.