Interview with Past Students Series #2: Sonia

Sonia Blog

Hello everyone, my name is Jacquie Apps and I am the Education and Training Director for the Australian Healthcare Academy (AHA). I thought I would write this short blog as part of our ongoing series to showcase and congratulate our Graduates who gain employment as Registered Nurses (EN/RN). This is our second post in the series, for those of you are new to our blog welcome or for those who subscribe welcome back!

Our key message from these posts is to tell you that if you have not gotten a job yet you are not alone and your dream to work as a Registered Nurse (EN/RN) it is STILL a REAL possibility. I trust that these posts give you the hope and the inspiration to keep on trying!

So, with this in mind let me tell you about one of our recent WorkReady Support Graduates, Sonia, who was able to get a job working at Melbourne Eastern Private after completing our WorkReady Support Program.

Sonia graduated her Bachelor of Nursing Program in 2018 and decided to have a gap year. Like many graduates who don’t enter into a Transition Program directly upon graduation Sonia found it impossible to get a Registered Nurse position and was working with a Nursing Agency as a Patient Care Assistant. This is unfortunately a common story, as the longer it takes Nursing Graduates to gain a transition position the harder it is for them to get an RN job.

Why? whilst there a couple of reasons, the main one is that if you have not had a chance to practice employers fear that your skills will have become rusty. As you are no longer competing for a position with those in your graduating year but also with graduates who have just completed their training and who are ready to start with up to date skills and current references you are seen as less desirable. This is where the WorkReady Support Program can help as it acts as a refresher program - filling in any gaps that you might have, providing 120 hrs of recent clinical experience where you can practice and apply your skills and 2 clinical references.

As it had been some time since Sonia had practiced as a nurse, she decided to look at a program that would refresh her clinical skill and knowledge. Stumbling onto the AHA webpage page Sonia saw the WorkReady Support Program and decided to send us through an email and book an information call to know more. After speaking to Carly and receiving all the pre-course information Sonia decided to enrol. Sonia stated that “the enrolment process was quick and easy and was really supportive which helped”.

When asked about her thoughts on the workshop Sonia stated that after “a 1-year gap the 5-day workshop was short but still covered all the important stuff, even covering some content not covered at Uni”. “ The practical skills of doing drips, drains and A-G assessment were really useful and I felt I improved a lot … my confidence grew as well … the trainer was both patient and supportive!

Next was a placement at Melbourne Eastern Private Hospital in their Rehabilitation Ward. “I was really nervous starting placement after such a long break and being in a new environment but practicing the skills in the workshop and having my teacher visit me on placement was really helpful…placement was a great experience, the nurses were really supportive and I started to take patients within the first couple of days and by week 2 I had a full patient load…working as an RN!

“I learnt so much on placement how to manage an emergency situation, talk to my patients about difficult stuff like palliative care – just practising what to say and what words to use”

Sonia stated explained that the key challenges on placement were managing her time, medication management, identifying all of the things her patients needed and escalating deterioration. These skills are ones that take time and experience working on the floor as an RN to develop - sometimes up to 6 months depending on the organisation and work environment.

When asked what she would say to someone who was considering the WorkReady Support Program Sonia said “I would recommend this program to anyone who hasn’t received a new grad position … the program is perfect doing the workshop and placement is the right amount of time. The cost of the program is reasonable compared to others”

Congratulations Sonia we are so happy to have been able to be part of your nursing journey we look forward to hearing what’s next in your career. If you would like to congratulate Sonia on her new position like this post on Facebook or leave us a comment to pass onto her. We would also love to hear your story so please and leave us a message on Facebook to tell us about your story!

.If you are interested in learning more about the Program yourself, reach out to us on 1300 953 276 or you can email me directly at!