Gunnedah TAFE open its doors for potential students

YEARNING TO LEARN: Head nursing teacher Maryanne Chandler with students Tiffany McKeon and Jessica Ling encouraging people to pursue professional dreams through TAFE. Photo: Jacob McArthur
YEARNING TO LEARN: Head nursing teacher Maryanne Chandler with students Tiffany McKeon and Jessica Ling encouraging people to pursue professional dreams through TAFE. Photo: Jacob McArthur

GENERALLY, we try to lead a life which keeps time spent in hopsital to a minimum.

But students are flocking to Gunnedah hoping to spend more of their waking hours helping us when we’re at our most ill.

TAFE is a holding an open week at all of its campuses for anyone thinking about chasing down a professional dream like enrolled nursing students Tiffany McKeon and Jessica Ling in Gunnedah.

Mrs Ling was forced to leave behind her job as a vet nurse due to allergies, but relishes the wider scope.

“With vet nursing, you can only really work in a vet clinic, whereas with enrolled nursing you can work in a hospital, a nursing home and so many different fields,” Mrs Ling said.

“It’s really nice to have options.”

Fellow student, Ms McKeon drives from Barraba each day in pursuit the greater opportunities compared with her current assistant in nursing qualification.

She has been an AIN for seven years and hoped the course would propel her toward more clinical specialties.

Trekking from Barraba for classes, Ms McKeon said she preferred Gunnedah to Tamworth.

“It’s not as full-on, it’s not as busy, it’s relaxed, it’s a better setting,” she said.

“The campus is really nice too and I feel everyone is friendly and accommodating.”

A point echoed by Mrs Ling, who said: “here, the teachers are really laid-back, but so knowledgeable.

“I learn so much by learning from other people’s experiences and having someone like Robbie, who has 30-plus years, it’s fantastic and she makes it so much fun.

“It’s not just sitting in a classroom, staring at a textbook or a screen and having it read to you, it’s interactive and really fun.”

Teaching what the industry needs

Head nursing teacher Maryanne Chandler said the course was closely aligned with industry needs, while also keeping students engaged.

“We have really good industry connections with Tamworth hospital,” Ms Chandler said.

“They help us with placements, they tell us what they need and we take that on board.”

With students trekking in from as far as Mungindi, Ms Chandler said the face-to-face experience can’t be beat at TAFE.

“I believe a lot of other courses are run are online and you don’t get that face-to-face interaction and I believe that is really important for building up rapport and confidence,” she said.

Gunnedah will host campus tours of facilities and information sessions for all Semester 2 courses each day, with highlight events throughout the week which such as a live Facebook event “How to prepare a gourmet meal in 10 minutes” on June 23.

For more information on the activities taking place at your local TAFE NSW campus or the Facebook Live events, please visit www.courses.tafensw.edu.au/open-week.