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Violence survivor’s message to aspiring nurses: ‘keep going for it’

When enrolled nurse Diana Watt left a violent marriage, she didn’t know how to support her children. All she took with her were the clothes on her back and a passion for helping others.

"I didn't know how I was going to support my children," Watt says. "I was left high and dry. I had nothing."

She first took up a job as an AIN in aged care. There, some of her RN colleagues encouraged her to become a nurse, so she registered her interest with Hunter TAFE in New South Wales and, not long after, read in the local paper that TAFE NSW offers more than 200 scholarships jointly with NSW Health.

She applied for a scholarship for a diploma of nursing (enrolled-division 2 nursing) and was successful. “From that point on,” she says, “I never looked back.”

Watt says the scholarship gifts her much more than financial support. “Quite simply, it means a future for my children and myself," she explains. "A couple of years ago, I didn't know where that was going to be. If it wasn't for the scholarship, I wouldn't be where I am today in an industry that I absolutely love.”

It also provides her an opportunity to join a profession that helps others. “I'm very passionate about it and I think more people should be encouraged to join,” she says. Her message to aspiring nurses who have missed out on following their expected education pathway is to never give up.

“Keep applying,” she says. “Find out where you went wrong and just keep going for it … you'll be grateful that you did.”

TAFE NSW scholarships are open for application this month.

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