The Joy of teaching

19 May 2023
Joy Matthews

Using music and movement to create a fun learning atmosphere and build strong peer-to-peer support isn’t necessarily what you’d expect in a nursing classroom.

But that’s exactly what CQUniversity Diploma of Nursing teacher Joy Matthews aims to achieve in some of her lessons.

Joy is building a safe and fun learning environment with creative approaches and a goal to have a supportive and inclusive environment where students feel valued and respected.

She’s helping students overcome barriers to success by modelling compassion for oneself and compassion for others with self-deprecating humour to engage the shy and anxious into a love of learning.

“Students often don't have the confidence to speak up at first, a lot of work must go into confidence building to enable students to believe they are capable so that they can advocate for themselves and for their patients,” Joy said.

“Whether it’s writing and performing a quick ditty about handwashing or sharing a favourite poem – creative approaches help dispel the fear that prevents learning and at the same time helps build peer-to-peer bonds that can last a lifetime.”

In addition to being a teacher, Joy is a Registered Nurse, Remote Area Nurse and former midwife and currently works as a casual registered nurse at one of the multipurpose health centres in rural Queensland.

“Working in unusual locations means creatively working with what you have rather than what you wish you had,” she said.

Joys says nursing is a rewarding career for anyone wanting to make a difference in their community.

“Students come into the course with a huge variety of life experience and skills, they finish the course with the knowledge and skills of a novice health professional ready to take on the world!”

>> Find out more about CQUniversity’s Diploma of Nursing by visiting