HSA student receives 2016 AMNF Award

Posted by on 20 December 2016

Health Skills Australia (HSA) graduate Belinda Pendergast (pictured, centre) balanced her full-time nursing studies with family duties for two years, and her hard work and dedication has paid off.

She is the 2016 winner of the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (ANMF) First State Super Student Award.

The former chef switched careers for the opportunities in health care and the variety of job choices.

“I’m a chef by trade and more recently I worked front of house at functions,” said Belinda.

“I was attracted to nursing for the many different career avenues that are available and for the ability to give something back to my community.”

Belinda’s learning curve from hospitality into health was stimulating for the contrast to her past profession, and it also presented some early obstacles.

“I enjoyed studying medications and IV as I found these subjects challenging in the math area and saw it as a personal challenge to improve in a subject that wasn’t my strength at high school,” she said.

“I spoke up to my tutor about the problem and she was fantastic. I had one-on-one math lessons to build my confidence and strength. I also was encouraged by fellow students and by practicing the formulas.”

HSA’s four placements are highlights for most students. Essential as assessment units, work experience is also the chance to explore a variety of career options. Belinda sampled the nursing environments of aged care, sub-acute and acute care, and mental health.

“I love sub-acute nursing and the variety of tasks you can do in one shift. My instructors inspired me to always challenge myself and aim for my goals,” she said.

Belinda is a personal care worker at an aged care facility at the moment. She has started applying for nursing roles in Melbourne hospitals and is excited about beginning her new career in 2017.

About the ANMF Award

The annual ANMF First State Super Student Award is for final year Victorian nursing students displaying excellence in theory and clinical practice, as nominated by their institution.