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Mum of 10 finds her calling as a nurse


An Ayr woman is proving anyone has time to study, completing her Diploma of Nursing through Mater Private Hospital Townsville with seven children at home.

Janine Richardson, 45, who also looks after her grandson, is currently completing the first semester of her Diploma of Nursing with Mater Education. Janine said she had always been passionate about nursing and that it’s never too late to study.

“I’ve always been interested in nursing, however I got married and had children when I was still quite young and it got put on the back burner,” Ms Richardson said.

“I have 10 children all up, five boys and five girls, with ages ranging from 28 through to 5 years old. 

“I had five children with my first husband, but he sadly passed away following a car accident – so there is a bit of an age gap between my oldest five and my youngest five, who I had when I remarried. While I’ve always been passionate about and had an interest in nursing, it was when my children’s father had his accident and suffered a traumatic brain injury that really opened my eyes.

“He was in ICU for a week and then moved to high care, in hospital for a total of six weeks, and during that time I saw the important work the nurses were doing and thought, ‘I really want to be that person who helps people when they need it the most.’”

Janine’s eldest daughter is completing an electrical apprenticeship, which requires her to travel across the country installing solar panels, so Janine also cares for her grandson when she is away from home – as well as her other six children at home. 

Mater Education Educator Sally Dickson said applications were now open for the next intake of Diploma students.

“I am fortunate to teach Diploma of Nursing students in their first semester, with applications now open for our next course which will commence in January 2023,” Mrs Dickson said. 

“In their first semester, students are provided with a blend of theoretical and practical learning, with both classes and simulations designed to assist students in applying their knowledge as they learn it. I would recommend Mater’s Diploma of Nursing to those returning to study or those who want to make the first step towards a career in healthcare.”

Janine said Mater’s Diploma of Nursing was a fantastic stepping stone into the industry.

“When I first applied I was quite nervous, having not studied for quite a long time, however felt at ease and supported from day one. Everything is skills-based, with a combination of classes and simulations to put what you’re learning into practice. I also begin my first placement next week. 

“Starting the Diploma has given me the confidence to want to study the Bachelor of Nursing following this, which takes one year less thanks to the Diploma and which will allow me to become a Registered Nurse. If I can do it, anyone can – just apply!”

Passionate about helping others? Apply for Mater Education's Diploma of Nursing and start studying in January 2023: mater.li/ApplyForDoN