" There is so much support in this hospital. The nurses we work with are always grateful when they are able to delegate tasks to RUSONs. It works well both ways, we can reduce their workload while also developing our own nursing skills. "


I migrated to Australia from the Philippines with my family as an extremely shy six-year-old girl. I come from a family of six. Growing up, I developed a lot of interests. My confidence grew with each new extracurricular activity I took on. I started playing the violin when I was 10 and performed for various events and functions. I loved sports and participated in theatrical productions at school. I held various leadership positions and was even briefly a member of the debating club. Despite all this, I still had no idea what my true passion was. Throughout my life, I have always been active in the community, participating in charitable organisations and events. This tendency to seek service opportunities naturally led to my passion for nursing. Although I have no other nurses in my family, my mother is a personal care attendant at an aged care facility.

Like many, I had no idea what career to pursue upon graduating high school, so I just followed my Dad’s wishes for me to become a lawyer. I started a double degree in Commerce/Law for a year, but took time off to go overseas to Malaysia and become a full-time church volunteer for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. There, I often found myself in hospitals where people sought prayers and support. But I wanted to give more. Upon coming home, I reflected on my life experiences and it finally occurred to me that nursing would be a more fulfilling path. When I confided in my mum about my desire to pursue nursing, she laughed in my face, saying “it’s hard”. But she supported me anyway, as nursing was her dream job and if it weren’t for her fear of blood and wounds, she would have pursued it herself.

I have been a Registered Undergraduate Student of Nursing (RUSON) at Peter Mac for a year. I expect to complete my Bachelor of Nursing this year, which is through Swinburne University. I hope to work towards becoming an ICU nurse. I’m particularly interested in Neurology and Cardiothoracics. These areas of nursing served as catalysts in my decision to choose and stay in nursing. However, the further I progress through my degree, the more I realise that I enjoy almost everything about nursing, because of the kind of impact I get to have on many individuals and their families.

Working at Peter Mac has enabled me to quickly develop my confidence in the clinical setting. I’ve been able to apply the theory I learn at university to practice, with the support of a strong network of interdisciplinary health professionals. This gives me an edge during placements, and hopefully will in my graduate applications too.

There is so much support in this hospital. The nurses we work with are always grateful when they are able to delegate tasks to RUSONs. It works well both ways - we can reduce their workload while also developing our own nursing skills.

What really motivates me to come to work each day is the opportunity to put a smile on someone’s face. I appreciate the thanks I get but quicky move on, knowing it’s my job and the least I can do for those who are faced with such challenging circumstances.

Starting and completing my degree during a pandemic has been both a challenge and a great privilege. The start was the most difficult as I had to adjust and manage my time. Despite the lack of face-to-face support from my clinical educators and time spent in the clinical labs, I found the silver lining in my job as a RUSON. I was able to work a lot during the lockdowns and at the same time, had the opportunity to develop my clinical skills and apply what I was learning through remote classes.

" So even if classes were cancelled, or placements were delayed, my education never stopped when I went to work and contributed to society as an essential worker. This made me feel important and quite accomplished, even as a student. "

As a RUSON, we are sometimes asked to support particular patients, especially those who might be confused or agitated about being in hospital. While challenging at times, there was one patient I supported for quite some time. He was the gentlest and most pleasantly confused patient I had ever encountered. When he wasn’t agitated or aggressive because of his cancer and was able to be himself, he spent every waking hour praising and thanking each staff member. Whenever I’d ask him how he’s doing, he’d always respond “better after seeing you”. Despite his critical condition, he and his wife were always so kind and thankful.

This experience reminded me of why I chose to do nursing in the first place. It wasn’t to receive praise, but it was to do for others what they can’t do for themselves. It allows me to never take a simple breath for granted.