Chrissy Renata has worked extremely hard to complete her Bachelor of Nursing at Whanganui UCOL. Fuelled by a desire to bring skills home to her community, Chrissy went above and beyond to upskill from an experienced Enrolled Nurse to a Registered Nurse.
Living with her husband on a farm out the back of Raetihi, 113 km from the Whanganui UCOL campus, Chrissy was determined to do whatever was necessary to succeed academically. She rented a flat in Whanganui for three years so that she could study and work in the evenings.
She also approached the Whanganui DHB to seek employment to fund her living costs and was given a position of healthcare assistant, mainly working night shifts. “Without the DHB providing me with that opportunity I would not have been able to complete my degree, they told me they were investing in the future and I am extremely grateful for their support.”
Chrissy says going back to study as a mature student posed its challenges, in particular learning how to use technology and write academically. “My class had a variety of people, young and old and we were able to take advantage of that, to teach and support each other. My peers taught me a lot; the younger ones taught me how to open my mind and change with the times. This was invaluable for my qualification.”
Chrissy identified that alongside her teachers, the support of the UCOL Library and Student Experience staff was essential to her success.
“The staff were awesome. They understood the challenges I was facing and showed me different ways of learning. They treat each student as an individual and my degree belongs to them as well.”
Chrissy is currently employed as a registered nurse at the GP surgery in Raetihi, a position which is enhanced by her strong community contacts.
Chrissy is proud to say that her experience at UCOL has encouraged her son and his partner to take up further education with UCOL in 2015, and she hopes to be able to inspire Māori and mature students to take the leap into further education.
Waimarino Health Limited is a General Practice in Raetihi, New Zealand. Its mission is to provide quality community-based health services with a multi-disciplinary focus.