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Mother and son nurse duo succeed

Bundaberg Mother and son Susan and Alvin White
Bundaberg Mother and son Susan and Alvin White .

Bundaberg mother and son Susan and Alvin White have become a dynamic duo in nursing thanks to CQUniversity’s Skills for Tertiary Education Preparatory Studies (STEPS) program.

Susan said while her decision to enrol in STEPS at CQU was one of determination to prove herself; Alvin’s uncertainty was his motivation.

“I have always wanted to do nursing, but I never felt good enough,” Susan said.

“I also focused on my family and looking after and supporting my parents and my in-laws.

“But after talking to a friend who had nearly finished her nursing at the time, I thought, ‘why not give it a go, and do something for me’, plus I had always cared for and looked after others.”

Alvin said he wasn't sure where or which way he wanted to go with nursing.

“Several people told me I would make a great nurse and there was a need for more male nurses,” Alvin said

“Plus, my cousin had not long finished doing her nursing degree.”

Susan said the STEPS course helped her realise that putting in the time and effort and building a solid study foundation and mindset prepared her for the nursing degree.

“The STEPS course helped build a solid foundation for our undergraduate studies,” she said.

“Alvin and I supported each other where possible and encouraged each other when needed.”

Nursing in Bundaberg

Since completing their respective nursing degrees, both are now working in Bundaberg.

“I work at the Bundaberg Base Hospital (Wide Bay Health Hospital Services) in a medical ward, and Alvin works at the Friendlies (Friendly Society Private Hospital) in the orthopaedic unit,” Susan said.

“We were Assistants-in-Nursing (AINs) at the Mater Private Hospital while we were doing our Bachelor of Nursing and got to work with surgical and medical patients, assisting with basic care.

“The best aspect of CQU’s nursing training was the hands-on training of clinical placements, where you got to put what you were learning into action, further developing your nursing skills.”

Alvin said the support they gave each other through STEPS and the Nursing degree program was what helped them succeed.

“We always tried to support one another throughout our studies,” he said.

“We were each other’s ears sounding board to listen to if studies got crazy or too much, which all nursing students will understand.

“We can discuss our nursing shifts, the good and the bad, and we still educate each other on things related to our current work area.

“This is good because it keeps our nursing knowledge up to date.”

Susan said undertaking the journey alongside her son was extremely rewarding.

“As a mother, studying, learning, and growing with my son has been wonderful,” she said.

“At our graduation, I was super proud of Alvin.

“I was also super proud when Alvin got his graduate position with the Friendlies – a permanent position.”

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