Sam's NQ nursing career takes off
Published: 07 August 2023
Sam’s journey to a nursing career in north Queensland is unique.
The registered nurse secured a spot in the Townsville University Hospital graduate nursing and midwifery program and now has a dual role working at the Townsville University Hospital emergency department (ED) and as a diabetes educator.
“I think anyone in this line of work will tell you that nursing finds you, you don’t find nursing,” he said.
Sam was pursuing a career with the Australian Air Force when a type 1 diabetes diagnosis changed his life.
“At that time there was no future for people in the military who had type one diabetes – it was a case of being given a medical discharge,” he said.
“I wasn’t happy with that because my job was my means of supporting my family, so I began advocating for policy change in the ADF.
“They needed me to demonstrate tight management of my condition to the point where it did not represent a risk for the defence force to keep me employed.”
Sam decided to fight to save his military career which led him to discover his passion for healthcare.
“It was from my advocacy and effort that I found my passion for diabetes education and learnt the path to become an educator is to become a registered nurse first, so that is what I did,” he said.
“I took up endurance sports like marathon running, iron man triathlons to prove I could manage this labour-intensive condition in very stressful environments.
“I became the first person ever in the ADF to deploy to a war-like environment in Afghanistan with type-one diabetes.”
Sam said learning to manage his condition taught him foundational nursing skills which he refined through the Townsville University Hospital graduate nursing and midwifery program.
“I set my goal of pursuing a career in nursing and diabetes education by starting with part-time study while still in the military,” he said.
“The knowledge and skills I gained during my graduate year at Townsville Hospital and Health Service set me up to do the work I do now.
“I was placed in the ED but was supported and encouraged to expand my skills and knowledge though working in diabetes education also.
“I think Townsville is an awesome place to do your graduate year because you’re given the space to become a well-rounded nurse and not just pigeonholed in one area.”
Are you considering a nursing career in north Queensland? Applications for the Townsville University Hospital graduate nursing and midwifery program open soon. Find out more about the Townsville difference here.
You can apply for a registered nurse or midwife graduate program position through the Queensland Health graduate portal and select Townsville as your location preference.