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Ten years on, Courtney’s journey with Mater has come full circle


Today, on May 12 2020, we celebrate International Nurses Day. It is also a monumental year for Mater Education, as we celebrate ten years of our Diploma of Nursing program. We had the pleasure of speaking to Courtney, both a member of our very first cohort and now nurse at Mater Mothers’ Hospital.

Courtney, a mum of six and Registered Clinical Nurse at Mater Mothers’ Hospital Brisbane, is a shining example that there is more than one way to achieve your career goals.

Her journey has taken a lot of resilience, juggling studies with being a mum.

It was while Courtney was flicking through the newspaper that she saw the ad for the first Diploma of Nursing at Mater Education.

“My diploma experience was amazing. Yes, study with a young family was tough, but I wanted it. I graduated with the first class of the Mater Education Diploma of Nursing program in December 2011.”

Courtney’s first healthcare position post-graduation saw her based at Hervey Bay Hospital, where she excelled in the Special Care Nursery.

 “I accepted a late night double shift where I was placed in the Special Care Nursery in the maternity unit for the night shift. After that shift, I was offered a permanent position there.”

Courtney and her family moved back to Brisbane following the birth of her sixth baby, and she began exploring opportunities back at Mater.

“I sent an expression of interest to the Nurse Unit Manager (NUM) of Special Care Nursery here at Mater Hospital. I was invited to interview, and got the job as a nurse. I was encouraged to go to University and complete the Bachelor of Nursing. It was at this point that my marriage ended. I was a full time university student, I had six small humans to take care of, and I still worked up to a full time equivalent. Determination is all that kept me going.”

She is now a Clinical Nurse within the Special Care Nursery here at Mater Mothers’ Hospital Brisbane and she’s more determined than ever to implement positive change and get involved in graduate support.

“This year, I decided that I wanted to make a difference; I want to improve graduate experiences, and workplace culture. I’m excited to see what the future of my career brings.”

A remarkable journey and a remarkable woman, Courtney encourages applicants to really think about what career path they want to take. 

“I want you to think about what kind of nurse you actually want to be, set your goals, know what you want your career pathway to include, and then get involved. And finally, do it all, remembering where you came from, and that everyone’s journey is different.”

If you’d like to see where a Diploma of Nursing can take you, learn more about our program here.