Thursday, 3 May 2012


For those of you who don't know, I have been planning on returning to uni when I come home. Since about the 3rd year of uni I had wanted to do teaching - the young kids, not teenagers :S. By that stage JCU no longer offered the double psych/education degree, which meant that I would have to do a graduate diploma of education. When I finally did finish uni, I wanted a break from study for a while - 17 years of study in a row was enough for the time being! So I came over here for a couple of years as a sort of 'gap year' - and to have a heap of fun!

Well now I'm ready to return to study, admittedly a little earlier then I had originally planned. I had wanted to start at the beginning of 2013, but at least this way I get to finish 6 months earlier :) I applied through QTAC as a 'non-year 12' applicant - In fact I was only a few weeks off being a 'mature age student' :S Well, the early offer round was released yesterday. AND I GOT IN!! To nursing. Yes, you read that right... nursing. The thing is ever since school I had been debating between education and nursing. You know, when they ask you 'what do you want to be when you grow up?' Well first it was a teacher, then not a teacher, then nursing, then not a nurse... So by the time I was nearly finished school and had to apply for uni I had no idea what I wanted to do, so I chose psychology.

Which I definitely do not want to do (be a psychologist at least). Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed my degree, and it's a great base degree, but it's not what I want to do. Since being over here I have been toing and froing between nursing and teaching - aargh what to do?!? Well I thought, I would just apply for both, and then leave the rest up to fate... I quite easily met the eligibility criteria for nursing, but not so for education. At first I had education as my first preference, followed by nursing. But then I changed my preferences after being assessed by QTAC as ineligible for early childhood education based on the entry requirements.

I contacted QUT and they stated:

I have looked through your prior studies to see which areas you are currently eligible. You meet the Studies of Society teaching area quite easily but do not have enough studies contributing to a second area for Early and Primary Years.

There have been applicants successful in gaining entry into the Grad Dip in Ed based on a completed psychology degree who are generally eligible for Studies in Society and Mathematics. Mathematics is generally fulfilled by statistic type units which are embedded in ‘research method’ subjects and in your case PY3101 Adv Behavioural Research Design and Analysis. However, you require at least 2 more units in the Mathematics area for it to be considered as a second teaching area. There are no other teaching areas covered with your completed studies.

So, according to that email I only completed ONE statistics subject... hahaha I wish. I emailed back with 2 other stats subjects I had completed, and hey presto, I was deemed eligible. After being deemed eligible by QUT I didn't change my preferences back to education though. And after getting that early round offer of nursing I could have changed my preferences back, and see if I would be offered a place in the graduate diploma of early childhood education. I decided not to however.

The reasons I decided to do nursing over education:
  • I would be happy doing both - I would love to work with little kiddies, but it's possible to do paediatric nursing, and I love medicine. Nursing seems quite logical :)
  • More job opportunities - I had a look on seek, there were a lot more job opportunities in nursing then education. 
  • My 'life path' seems to be heading towards nursing - I have tried a few times to do things child/education related. When I was in uni, only doing a few subjects on campus I applied to TAFE do do a certificate in child services, so I could work in child care. Obviously this never eventuated. I also tried to do some volunteer work at my current client's primary school, to get some practical experience in working with kids with disabilities. They weren't looking for volunteers... Then I decided to get a job 'a bit more relevant to my field of study'. I applied for, and got a job with the Spinal Injuries Association as a personal care assistant. Then I came over to the UK to work as a live-in carer. Obviously both of these jobs  are more relevant to nursing then education.
  • I get excited by the subjects I have to do with nursing - There's obviously quite a lot of placements, which is practical experience (something we didn't really get with a psych degree, that comes later in post-grad study). I also have to do subjects such as pharmacology and disease concepts, stuff I find really interesting :) About the only subject I don't look forward to is law and ethics :/ blgh :P
  • Oh yeah, I forgot to add - the rest of my family works works for Queensland Health, obviously as a nurse I will be able to work for Queensland Health too. So I won't be the 'black sheep' of the family working for a different department (Queensland Education)!
So there you go, I'm going back to uni - studying Bachelor of Nursing (graduate entry) at QUT!!

Oh, and while I'm here, I guess I should tell you that I'VE BOUGHT MY PLANE TICKET HOME!!! I actually bought it a few weeks ago now, and I'm not sure how many of you I've told, but now you should all know :) I leave London Thursday July 5, arriving home on Saturday July 7 at 7am in the morning, 1 week before being away for 2 year...


Grace said...

That's a very lengthy, wordy blog, Sarah - where are the pictures....????? :-P

Congratulations on your Uni placement and we will see you home SOON.

What day do you want the 'Welcome Home' Party??????

xXx Mum

Sarah Odgaard said...

Thanks mum - I had meant to put the QUT logo in, but I forgot :P Hmm, Maybe on the Sunday?? seeing as I have 2 night time flights... who knows how much sleep I'll get?! Might need a day to recover.