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Source: Eastern Institute of Technology – Tairāwhiti

7 mins ago

Kayla Hughes completed EIT’s six-month NZ Certificate in Study and Career Preparation [Level 4] programme and is now enrolled in the Bachelor of Nursing Degree.

Kayla Hughes has been a chef, worked in a software company and as a teacher aide, but when she enrolled in EIT’s Study and Career Preparation programme it was to prepare for her biggest challenge yet – studying nursing.

The six-month NZ Certificate in Study and Career Preparation [Level 4] is designed to give people  the skills, capabilities, knowledge and attributes needed to succeed at degree level. EIT offers two options of this programme, the first a Te Hāpai Hāpori /Social Work and Teaching pathway, and secondly a Hauora / Nursing and Health Pathway. Kayla, 28, completed the Hauora pathway earlier this year, before enrolling in the Bachelor of Nursing Degree at EIT in July.

“The NZ Certificate in Study and Career Preparation [Level 4] is really good for people who have been out of school for a little while, may not have achieved university entrance or may not be confident to move straight into degree-level study. It is also for people wanting to brush up on their science because nursing’s very science-heavy.”

“My other motivation for doing it was that it is a six-month programme. I have always had an interest in science and wanted to get into midwifery when I was younger. So, I thought that after six months, I would know if it was for me or not.”

“Well, I loved it. If I knew what I know now, then I’d always recommend doing the Level 4 Certificate first. It just prepares you so much for year one of the Bachelor of Nursing.”

Kayla received an additional boost when she was named as the recipient for the Noeileen Isaacs Scholarship 2021, which is given to students entering first year Bachelor of Nursing at EIT. The scholarship is given by the Noeileen Isaacs Trust.

“I am very pleased and grateful to have been awarded this scholarship, which will go a long way to helping with my studies.”

This was not Kayla’s first time studying at EIT. Originally from Flaxmere, Kayla moved to Australia to finish Year 12, having done Year 11 at Hastings Girls’ High School.

“My aspirations as a child were to either become a chef or a midwife, but I decided to go into hospitality because I had the dream of travelling overseas and I knew that you could always get a hospitality job overseas.”

With this in mind, Kayla returned home and enrolled in a Diploma of Professional Chef Practice through EIT’s School of Tourism and Hospitality for two years.

“I really enjoyed the programme and after that, I moved over to Australia where I was sous chef at a cafe in Western Australia for the next three-and-a-half years.”

“I then decided that it was time for me to go overseas on my OE, so I packed up all my stuff and moved over to England for two years on a Working Holiday Visa.”

She spent her first year abroad in hospitality but moved to a job in customer service with a company that provided software used to assess patients. The assessment would determine whether the patients qualified for government funding.

“The job made me start to think about the people out there who struggle day-to-day, and I started to get the feeling that I just wanted to do something a little more worthwhile.”

Kayla returned home in April last year and ended up working as a teacher aide at Flaxmere Primary.

“It was then that I decided to pursue nursing because I felt it would be such a rewarding job in the sense that you can help people within your community.”

“Because I had been out of school for 12 years, I enquired about what I should do to start my nursing journey and I was encouraged to enrol in the Level 4 programme, which I did, and I got accepted.”

The next stage of the journey for Kayla is her first practicum which will be at local rest home Mary Doyle in November.

While Kayla is looking forward to the experience, she is keen to eventually work as a nurse in an Emergency or Trauma Department.

One thing is certain, Kayla is back to stay in Hawke’s Bay.

“We lost my granny while I was overseas, and it just put a lot of things into perspective. Hopefully when I finish my studies, I’ll get a job with the DHB and start settling down,” says Kayla.

Kathy Manhire, the Bachelor of Nursing Programme Coordinator and Principal Academic Lecturer at EIT’s School of Nursing, says: “We welcome all students into the BN programme but those coming from a work experience background bring qualities of maturity and awhi (support) for the younger students coming from school.”

“Kayla is a perfect example of these qualities as are the other recipients of the Noeileen Isaac Scholarship . The Certificate in  Study and Career Preparation allows students to explore and  understand the culture of academic study.”