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Over 40 graduates of the Diploma and Advanced Diploma of Nursing were recognised at a graduation ceremony at Hunter TAFE’s Kurri Campus on Thursday, 1 December.
 
Hunter TAFE Teacher (Ageing, Disabilities & Nursing) Jennifer McLennan said the event recognised the hard work that the students had put in throughout their studies.
 
“We are very proud of them and we wanted to show that,” she said. “At the ceremony they are also presented with a badge, that nurses often wear throughout their careers, which signifies the completion of training and where they trained.”
 
Gillieston Heights’ Robyn Johnstone, who graduated from the Diploma of Nursing on the day, has already secured employment and is working at Cessnock Hospital. “I was so excited to be working at a hospital,” she said. “I just wanted to wear scrubs - it stands for something.”
 
Ms Johnstone, 47, said she had her doubts about before undertaking the diploma. “I didn’t have much confidence as a stay-at-home mum,” she said. “If you had told me that I would be where I am now, I wouldn’t have believed you.”
 
Ms Johnstone, who had previously worked in aged care, said there was support available to help her through her studies.
 
“Even though it was hard I never thought of giving up,” she said. “There was always help out here – there was the TAFE library, extra tutorials available and I was in a learning community, where there was about eight of us who were very similar and helped each other along.”
 
Hunter TAFE Institute Director, Christine Warrington said that she is immensely proud of the graduates. “Nurses are there for us during some of our greatest struggles, as well as some moments of pure joy, and we at Hunter TAFE are very proud of our contribution towards preparing today’s graduates for their important and meaningful careers,” Ms Warrington said.