Pathway to nursing for Health and Wellbeing Students

For the past 4 years HLC has offered the New Zealand Certificate in Health & Wellbeing (Support Worker) Level 3 programme, in partnership with UCOL.  This popular programme is valuable to prepare students for work in the Rest Home and Community Care industry. 

Recently four of our students have been accepted into the UCOL Bachelor of Nursing programme.  We sat down with two of them to hear their stories:

Samantha Christensen left school at the age of 15 and wasn’t sure what she wanted to do with her life.  Her direction suddenly became clear when her boyfriend was involved in a very serious car accident.  Sam was called to the accident scene and observed the emergency crews in action.  This was her first experience of trauma, but Sam found that she was able to remain calm and help as best she could.  It was over the next few months of many hours spent at the hospital that she started to get curious about what the nursing staff did.  She found that rather than panicking, she was never frightened and instinctively wanted to learn how to best help. 

Sam was impressed with the nursing staff and noticed that it was often the little things that made the difference for patients and their families.  This started her journey into healthcare and she worked out a plan to get accepted into nursing.

As she hadn’t studied since school, she decided to complete the Level 3 Support Worker programme with HLC before applying for nursing.  She did her research and discovered that the course would not only give her skills to use in the community but would also prepare her for the world of nursing.  When we spoke with Sam, she was just about to go out on her placement hours and had been learning new tools to prepare to do her best for her patients. 

Sam has two sons Zion (7) and Cruz (5) who like that she is in “school like them.”  Sam’s Mum will be providing extra support while she commutes to Palmerston North for the course.   Sam told us that she is so excited about her new direction, she can’t wait to start and feels like the sky is the limit for her.  She will initially complete her three years and then the plan is to become a registered nurse.  She is open to which direction her career will take, at this stage, paediatric nursing is her goal.

Zac Smith was working at a local factory when he started thinking about his future.  The bills were being paid, but he was doing the same thing every day and wanted more. He always wanted to help people and when his grandparents saw the ad for the Support Worker course, he decided to upskill and enrolled in the 2018 course. 

He found it a struggle to return to study after a period working fulltime.  He managed to juggle his job at the factory with his study to pay his way and soon found that he was becoming mentally tired instead of just physically tired from his work.  With support from his tutors he soon adjusted and really started to enjoy the learning process in an area he loves.

Zac’s first placement at a local rest home became his permanent place of work and he now works many shifts each week.  He found the most valuable parts of his training were handling techniques, education around the Privacy act and a focus on treating the person first instead of the task.  The statement “the person is not the disease” sat well with Zac, and he developed an interest in the area of dementia training. 

Zac is now excited to find out he has been accepted into the Bachelor of Nursing at UCOL and will start in July 2019.

Along with Sam and Zac – two other HLC graduates will begin a nursing degree in 2020 – brother and sister Gelyn and Raymond Valino.  Their stories are also fascinating and we hope to share them at a later date with you.

HLC is proud of these graduates and their desire to want to do more for themselves and their community.  Our mission is “to provide quality programmes leading to higher learning and employment.” Through our focus on practical activity based learning we continue to support our students in their return to academic programmes and transition to future study or employment.


Zac Smith

Zac Smith

Samantha Christensen

Samantha Christensen

Angela TorrComment