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Trevor's career change challenge to become a nurse leads to a new lease on life

Trevor's career change challenge to become a nurse leads to a new lease on life

Published:20 December 2017

Trevor Morris says studying the Diploma of Enrolled Nursing at CQUni was the “pinnacle of his working life.”

Trevor Morris isn’t ashamed to admit that he almost walked away from becoming a nurse, but after recently graduating with his diploma and securing a job at the Rockhampton Hospital, he’s proud that he gave himself a fighting chance.

The 63-year-old was one of dozens of Diploma of Enrolled Nursing students to recently complete their studies and he says it was the “pinnacle of his working life.”

“I’ve worked a lot of different jobs in my life and I never thought of being a nurse, or going to university,” he said.

After decades of working in the fitting and turning trade, culminating in the recently restructured rail industry, the work dried up and Trevor had to consider other options. It was in 2015 that he saw an opportunity to study nursing at CQUniversity and he attended an information session. He eventually decided to take the plunge and enrol.

“There wasn’t any more trade work coming in and as I was of a certain age, I thought I’d give it a go,” he said.

“It was totally different and intense – I nearly bailed every other day, and I would have if it wasn’t for my study buddies.

“When people would asked me how I was doing I would tell them I was stressing out over a nursing assignment, but they would be really encouraging and tell me how fantastic it was that I wanted to be a nurse.”

Although he found his studies difficult, Trevor said he persevered because he knew all of his fellow students were going through the same struggles.

Now, almost three years later, work placement Trevor participated in at the Rockhampton Hospital has led to casual employment as an Assistant-in-Nursing.

“It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life, but I just hung in there and I saw every day as one day closer to my goal,” he said.

“The greatest thing about the health industry is that there are so many different aspects to nursing. I’m targeting mental health, I like the one-on-one with the patients and I believe the more experience I get the more my confidence will grow”.

“I feel I have a good rapport with the patients – I don’t know what it is, but it makes me feel good when I hear that patient is feeling better.”

The Diploma of Enrolled Nursing is just one of the many courses that will be highlighted at the 2018 TAFE Careers Expo at the Rockhampton City Campus on 24 January from 2-6pm. Register your interest by visiting