On Friday 5th July, James Cook University, Centre for Rural and Remote Health hosted an afternoon tea to celebrate the graduating third year nursing student’s final day of classes and reflect on three years of hard work.

The event was attended by the third year nursing students and their families, friends, lecturers and tutors. Students were presented with badges and bouquets of flowers by Senior Lecturer, Jodi Brown and CRRH Director, Professor Sabina Knight. Attendees also enjoyed afternoon tea and presentations from JCU and North West Hospital and Health Services’ guest speakers, Professor Sabina Knight, Dr Sandy Campbell, and Michelle Garner.

Graduating student Georgia McManus spoke fondly of her time with JCU’s Centre for Rural and Remote Health. “I am really glad I got to complete my degree in Mount Isa in comparison to a metro area,” Georgia confirmed. “The facilities here in Mount Isa have been exceptional; the staff are amazing and so welcoming; and a lot of our tutors come directly from the hospital so we not only get the theory, but we also hear stories of real life experiences and get to reflect on that and build our knowledge.”

“It’s amazing to have the resources of the library and also the supportive staff available. Even though there are lots of other students in Townsville and Cairns it’s amazing to have such a small, supportive group,” said third year nursing student Nikki Charlton.

North West Hospital and Health Service’s Executive Director of Nursing and Midwifery and Clinical Services, Michelle Garner, was also in attendance and commended the nursing program. “We have been very fortunate in Mount Isa to get a campus onsite where nurses can train locally. I think it is really hard for nurses to leave their hometowns to train, so to be able to stay home and be with your family, you are much better adjusted and you get to come and look after a community you have grown up with.”

Whilst the nursing students still have a semester to go until their JCU graduation ceremony, Friday marked the final day on campus for the graduating class. Students will spend the reminder of the year on clinical placement.

By Courtney Quast

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