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Former student joins RTO education team


Meet Chris McGwinn, a Registered Training Organisation instructor at Mater Education for the Vocational Education and Training in Schools (VETiS) program. 

As a former Mater Education Diploma of Nursing student Chris knows what it’s like to study with Mater Education. For a big part of his life Chris worked in graphic design and advertising, before deciding on a career change and embarking on a Diploma of Nursing as a mature age student with Mater Education.

“After running my own graphics business for several years I was looking for a change and wanted to work in an industry that was more people-centred, and not staring at a computer for hours on end,” he said.

“I worked for a couple of years in aged care and doing the Diploma of Nursing course was the natural progression for this path, with a lot of encouragement from my wife—who has been a Registered Nurse at Mater since 2008.”

For Chris, the decision to study with Mater Education was a no-brainer.

“Mater Education has the best reputation and, in my mind, that would give me the best chance of finding employment at the end of it. Many people in the industry told me this,” he said.

Chris really enjoyed his time at Mater Education, and still misses it to this day. As the oldest student in his class he was initially self-conscious about his age, but soon realised it was only an issue in his own head.

Throughout his course Chris was asked by the head of the diploma to help tutor other students in anatomy and physiology, and it was an experience he thoroughly enjoyed and has continued tutoring to this day. 

Chris also found that having placements on Mater’s wards helped prepare him for employment as an independent practitioner with a well-rounded education.

“I really enjoyed the hands-on teaching and simulation classes. I was fortunate enough to be awarded Student of the Year in 2014, which was a very proud moment in my new career and gave me a huge confidence boost.”

After completing his studies Chris was hired on the cardiovascular ward at Mater Private Hospital Brisbane, where he stayed for four years.

“I really enjoy caring for patients and supervising Diploma of Nursing students on placement on the ward. I am a big fan of patient-centred care and promote that method of nursing as much as possible, as I believe it makes our jobs more interesting, creative and fun.”

For Chris though, teaching was his real passion, and that dream was realised when he was recently hired as a full-time Registered Training Organisation instructor for Mater Education's increasingly popular VETiS program. 

“I love this job as I have the opportunity to share my passion for patient-centred care with high school students looking to get into the healthcare field. To be an Enrolled Nurse and an educator is something I didn’t think was possible, until I applied for the role and now I get to work with a great team of passionate, dedicated and professional people,” he said.

“I love my job!”

Townsville Open Day - 18 May

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