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HomeNewsElisha recently graduated with a Bachelor of Nursing Degree

Elisha recently graduated with a Bachelor of Nursing Degree

BY Vinnie Todd

Manilla woman Elisha Kelly proudly wears the caps of wife to Kurt, mother and strapper to teenage horse-loving daughter Tahlia and Retained Fire Fighter with NSW Fire & Rescue. But her recent accomplishment of being presented with the Bachelor of Nursing Degree at Charles Sturt University’s Graduation Evening held at Rosehill Racecourse was definitely the feather in one of those caps.

Elisha decided 20 years ago, while still at school in Coffs Harbour that, despite not knowing much about the profession, “I’m going to be a nurse”.

“I had friends whose mums were nurses, and they all seemed to have lovely personalities. So while still at school, I worked as an AIN (Assistant In Nursing), a TAFE-delivered course, as part of my HSC,” she said.

Elisha moved to Manilla in 2006 where she met and married hubby Kurt, had Tahlia two years later then joined the NSW Fire & Rescue in 2009. After arrival in Manilla, Elisha continued her work as an AIN at BUPA in Tamworth, and it was there that she accepted an offer of a scholarship to become an EN (Enrolled Nurse), paving the way for a position with NSW Health. She completed 10 years as an AIN before joining the ranks of EN (Enrolled Nurse) where she remained for another 10 years. Then she decided to become a Registered Nurse.

“I did the required two-year university course online. If you’d told me 20 years earlier that I’d be doing university studies, I’d have laughed at you as that was a dream I thought out of reach. That’s a three-year course, but because I’d been an EN, I did only two years. I was studying and nursing fulltime, as well as going away to schools and prac sessions. I basically swam through it, probably because of my background in nursing.

“I absolutely love my job. I’ve always loved working on my feet and with my brains. It’s all about helping people, like, if there’s a case they’re not sure about, working through it with the doctor and being there from start to finish, and finally working it out is what it’s all about. I love the patient care side of it, working on ongoing cases from start to finish. That’s a good feeling.”

And Elisha, who currently juggles working between Manilla and Tamworth hospitals, would be the first to recommend nursing as a career for any young school leavers.

“I really enjoy it as a profession, and feel it’s a very rewarding career. Becoming an RN (Registered Nurse) will open a lot of doors for me later on. I’ll probably look to some sort of specialist field down the track, but at the moment, I’d rather just scope across all the avenues before making any decision. Nursing can be hard, and busy, which I love anyway. I work better when the pressure’s on, because you’ve got to use your brain. It’s exhausting, but you always accomplish something in the end, and that’s what I love.”

Another cap Elisha likes to don is that of Retained Fire Fighter (RFF) with NSW Fire & Rescue, which she added to her portfolio 12 years ago. In that role, Elisha, who received her 10-years Fire Fighter Medal last year, can be called out at any time to do ambulance assists, fire calls, fire control, motor vehicle accidents or hazardous material work.

“Being a nurse and RFF complement each other and I find that the skills, camaraderie and mateship amongst both roles is something humbling to be part of. I’m passionate about my job and very thankful of where nursing has taken me so far.”