For James Cook University Nursing and Midwifery student, Anita Nakata, becoming a nurse and midwife has been a lifelong dream.

Anita grew up on Thursday Island and Horn Island and attended the local primary and secondary school there.

“A lot of ladies in my family were having babies and I followed them throughout their pregnancy. I saw them have their babies, I looked after the babies and I fell in love with that and I guess I wanted to step into that career once I finished high school.”

“In year 11 I was offered a Certificate 3 in Allied Health, so I accepted it and went through and worked with the Indigenous Health Unit in Cairns. They offered us the Diploma in Health Sciences for 2014. I started the diploma but did not complete it as I transferred into a bachelor of Nursing and Midwifery.”

Anita opted to study a double degree in Nursing and Midwifery giving her greater career flexibility.

 “With the double degree I have the choice between nursing and midwifery. In midwifery I think it’s also preferred that you have the double just because you have the experience and knowledge with the nursing degree.”

As part of her degree, Anita completed a rural placement at the Mount Isa hospital, and like most students didn’t quite know what to expect before arriving. “It is bigger than I expected. I thought Mount Isa was a small mining town but it was actually huge!”

“Everyone here in Mount Isa is very supportive and encouraging. The support at the Centre for Rural and Remote Health was great too.”

Currently in her final year, Anita is looking forward to completing her degree and putting her skills into action. “Once I graduate I do hope to return to Thursday Island and use my skills up there.”

By Courtney Quast

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