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Former chef cooks up a new career in nursing


Former chef Luis Martinez is looking forward to a rewarding career change after graduating on 9 December with a Diploma of Nursing from Mater Education, making him eligible to apply for national registration as an enrolled nurse.

Luis was a professional chef for 25 years but tired of the pressure-cooker environment where he felt underappreciated. In selecting his new career, Luis was guided by his desire to help others.

“It’s always been my nature to help other people and put others first, whether in my day-to-day life or through charitable work,” Luis said.

The inspiration for Luis’ next career was close at hand. His sister and sisters-in-law are nurses and suggested he had the qualities of a good nurse.

Luis chose to undertake a Diploma of Nursing at Mater because the training was provided on the hospital campus rather than at a TAFE.

“I learn best by doing, rather than reading, so I enjoyed the practical experience in a hospital environment.

“The simulation exercises were fantastic because we learned using real equipment. When I did my practical placements at other facilities, I was much more comfortable and confident because I had already used all of the same equipment during class,” Luis said.

Luis found being a mature-aged student with life experience an asset when caring for patients during his practical placements.

“Nursing isn’t just about medications and procedures. It’s about people—being able to relate to patients on their level and being a good listener is important.

“As a chef, I dealt with many personalities, both in the kitchen and among the customers. I’ve found this experience, along with being an older student, enables me to more easily relate to and develop a rapport with patients from all walks of life.”

Now having firmly acquired the taste for nursing, this former chef is excited about his new career.

“Nursing is an opportunity to channel my desire to help others into a role that is appreciated and makes a difference to others.”