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Dancing queen hip-hops back to nursing

By Patrick Nelson

School of Health Lecturer Ann Bolton with Diploma of Nursing students Shirley Nowland and Kim Presnell School of Health Lecturer Ann Bolton with Diploma of Nursing students Shirley Nowland and Kim Presnell

Tennant Creek’s Shirley Nowland has done a pirouette in life by returning to the nursing profession after 26 years as a dance teacher.

Mrs Nowland worked as an enrolled nurse for about 10 years after leaving high school, and before setting up an interstate dance studio in the mid-1980s.

She now works at Pulkapulkka Kari aged care facility in Tennant Creek, where a senior member of staff encouraged her to update her skills and formalise her knowledge.

“I like to learn, so I said ‘yes, I’ll do it’,” said Mrs Nowland, who this year began the 18-month Diploma of Nursing course at Charles Darwin University.

Her studies led her to Alice Springs campus recently, where she participated in a two-week clinical training block.

“We’ve covered infection control, vital signs, nutrition and hydration, and explored some of the medical terminology used in the industry,” she said.

“And we covered clinical emergencies, looked at what’s involved in admitting and discharging patients, and discussed some case studies.”

Charles Darwin University’s Diploma of Nursing is administered by former Territorian Ann Bolton, now the online nursing lecturer based in Melbourne.

“We have 25 enrolments in this first cohort including four from Tennant Creek, but we’re expecting many more for the mid-year intake,” she said.

“We’ve received about 60 applications including about 50 from the NT.”

Charles Darwin University has expanded its health team in Alice Springs with the arrival this month of lecturers Bronwyn Silver, Jess Anderson and Sr Jennifer Farrell.