'There are numerous opportunities to carry on a variety of research and learning opportunities...'
Graduate Diploma in Science in Biological Sciences
Registered Nurse, Canterbury District Health Board
With a great passion for animal welfare and conservation of nature, Jai knew that she wanted to study Biological Sciences when she first came to UC, and carry on to master’s study in Ecology. After both of her parents fell unwell however, she became inspired to study further into Health Sciences.
‘Nursing appeared to be the right path to me in order to understand my parents’ conditions,’ she says. ‘Both my parents are all well now, but they were both unwell before and the circumstances motivated me to change my career path to become a registered nurse. I truly enjoyed studying at UC, so I continued to study a Master of Health Sciences at UC without any doubts.’
Going from Biological Sciences to Health Sciences, Jai found that her master’s study prepared her to connect both subject areas and solve new challenges in nursing.
‘As a graduate nurse and a novice researcher, critical thinking and finding solutions for problems are essential skills to become competent. I am well prepared throughout my study to take the next step as a registered nurse and to carry on to further study.’
Jai hopes to return to UC one day for PhD study, after finding her experience here supportive towards her career and research goals.
‘The teaching staff are great; very helpful and approachable. I can discuss matters and exchange ideas with them,’ she says. ‘Great support from the teaching staff is priceless when studying at UC!’
Currently, Jai works as a registered nurse, and her manuscript has been accepted by an international academic journal, with studies on compassion fatigue in nursing during and after the Canterbury earthquake period. She has also attended the People in Disasters Conference 2016 with a presentation on her findings. In 2018, Jai was invited to write the guest editorial for Kai Tiaki Nursing Research, under the title "Assessing research is a vital skill in new master's-level nursing pathway".
Jai was also awarded a Pegasus Health Scholarship, which is offered to health sciences students from culturally diverse backgrounds. The scholarship will support Jai with finances, industry contacts and mentoring in her health career.
‘I have completed NetP and continue to improve on my clinical practice. Also, I had the great opportunity to contribute to the 2017 Kai Tiaki Nursing Research Journal as a reviewer and it was an excellent opportunity to learn as a novice researcher.
‘Nursing is such a broad area and it can relate with almost all other subjects such as economics, art, sociology, psychology, the sciences and even ecology! It means that there are numerous opportunities to carry on a variety of research and learning opportunities, and there are so many areas which need to be studied and researched.’
With that in mind, she highly recommends other students pursue an area that will inspire and develop towards a meaningful career.
‘Take challenges! It won’t be easy but if you are motivated and determined, it is definitely worth it. Hard work, dedication and effort will pay off in the end and you will grow and mature throughout the course.’