A Regional Enrolled Nursing Cadetship has helped Teagen Williams achieve her career goal and secure a role at Port Augusta Hospital.
Teagen recently graduated from the SA Health cadetship program, which combines study at TAFE SA with a paid part-time work placement leading to a Diploma of Nursing.
A mother of four and proud indigenous woman, Teagen says her experience with IVF first sparked her interest in nursing.
“When I started IVF to have my first child, I found myself wanting to learn more about the nursing side of the process,” Teagen says.
“Once I became pregnant, I made a decision to change my career and start following my dreams.”
When her daughter was six months old, she enrolled in a Certificate III in Pathology Collection with TAFE SA and started work as a phlebotomist as soon as she completed her study.
Her second child was born prematurely, and the family had to spend some time in hospital, where Teagen was impressed with the “amazing” nursing care.
“This was the thing that pushed me to finally take the step to becoming a nurse,” she says.
Teagen enrolled in nursing at TAFE SA’s Port Pirie Campus, juggling two children aged under two, plus two young stepchildren and a job.
She says her lecturer encouraged her to apply for the cadetship at Port Augusta hospital and she was thrilled to win the position, where she was employed two days a week as an Assistant in Nursing with the hours counting as her course work placement.
The cadetship enabled Teagen to combine family, work and study, and working in a clinical setting each week helped increase her knowledge and confidence.
“The support from my Cadetship Facilitator Jacqui Merkel was outstanding. I always felt I was able to ask questions and was supported the whole way through,” she says.
“Port Augusta Hospital was able to provide me a great deal of support and guidance over the 18 months of my Diploma. The level of knowledge shared and demonstrated was outstanding.”
After completing her qualification at the end of 2021, Teagen applied for a full-time role at Port Augusta Hospital where, she says, she had established good relationships with nurses and staff during her cadetship.
Teagen is now working full-time across three wards at the hospital and says the transition from being an Assistant in Nursing to an Enrolled Nurse has been “supportive and welcoming”.
For more information, please visit the TAFE SA website.