Nursing is more than just a field of study or career for Olivia Brown – it’s a family tradition that she’s proudly taking forward. After watching the joy being a nurse brought to her grandmother and aunty, Olivia is committed to nursing as a career.
The 21-year-old lives on a lifestyle block near Bulls, where she helps look after calves, lambs, cats, and dogs. After completing Feilding High School, she pursued a Bachelor of Nursing at UCOL.
“One of the things that appealed to me the most about nursing was that it’s ever evolving. I like being able to continue developing my practical and theoretical skills as a nurse,” says Olivia.
Being a kinesthetic learner, Olivia found UCOL’s learning style beneficial. “I liked having smaller classes which allowed for a more one-to-one teaching environment. UCOL also allocates personal tutors that work alongside you throughout your time there, which was invaluable,” she adds.
Olivia says connecting with like-minded individuals at UCOL supported her learning journey. “I’m especially thankful for two opportunities that UCOL provided. One was taking part in the Tauira Neehi Māori Rōpū following the Māori nurse’s hui that a group of us attended last year. The rōpū is close to my heart because it helped me embrace my culture and flourish as the nurse I am today,” she says.
“I also want to thank UCOL for the Kia Ora Hauora workshops they offered. They supported me in ultimately winning the Ministry of Health Hauora scholarship.”
Olivia is currently working at the Palmerston North Hospital, where she’s undertaking her New Entrant to Nursing Practice. She works in the operating theatre as a registered nurse specialising in Ophthalmology (eyes) and Ear, Nose, and Throat surgeries. “I absolutely love working in the theatre where I’m constantly improving my critical nursing knowledge,” she says.
Olivia’s nursing kaupapa is to provide autonomous and collaborative care, advocacy for patients, and care of whakapapa from across the motu. Her plans include undertaking post-graduation study and eventually gaining a Master of Nursing. “At this point, though, I’m happy exercising my nursing kaupapa.”
Olivia is among the 2236 students graduating across UCOL campuses. Due to the Traffic Light System, UCOL will be celebrating graduation a little differently this year. Students will be collecting their graduation parchments from UCOL campuses. They will get an opportunity to have a small celebration with their family and friends, including hiring graduation gowns and taking professional photographs. Graduation parchment collection days are as follows:
Horowhenua: Thursday, 25 March 2022
Wairarapa: Monday, 28 March 2022
Manawatū: Wednesday, 6 April 2022
Whanganui: Friday, 8 April 2022