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How a nursing degree shaped, inspired and challenged Hema

This article appears in: Health, Nursing and Midwifery, Studying in Australia

Hema is a proud Nepalese graduate who was determined to make a difference in people’s lives. Committed to advocating for and protecting others, Hema knew a career in nursing was the only path for her.

As an avid nature lover, Hema fell in love with the tropical vibrancy that Darwin has to offer. 

"I love nature, so Darwin is an amazing place to live for me," she says.

Studying at CDU gave Hema a newfound confidence, teaching her how to interact with other people and to respect cultural differences.  

The student community and CDU staff welcomed me with open arms, creating such a positive experience. 

“CDU graduates also have the best career and employment prospects,” she adds. 

Practical placements and work experience  


As a community nurse, Hema had the opportunity to visit rural locations to help locals with their medical needs.  

She savoured not only the experience of gaining a vast range of clinical knowledge but the prospect of seeing amazing places.  

“Darwin is the greatest place to learn since the rural cases are usually care flights to Darwin,” she says. “When provided with simulation blocks, don’t hesitate as it is the best opportunity to learn before dealing with real patients."

Don’t forget to have fun while studying. It is the journey you will remember for life. 

Hema also spent some time during her mental health placement volunteering to help clean and organise homes of people who are dealing with mental health issues.  

“I grew up in a society where I was taught mental health was a taboo. Coming to CDU, after doing my mental health course, and placement on top of it, I came to realise how wrong that was,” she says.  

“I made the best out of my time during my mental health placement trying to see where my patients were coming from, and I wanted to make a difference.”  

Cultural differences  


As an international student, Hema quickly embraced the Australian way of life.  

“I was surprised how friendly people are. Back home I was not used to interacting with locals just walking down the street,” she says. 

“Also, Australian slang and their way of shortening words was confusing at first. Another culture shock for me was drinking tap water. I don’t remember the last time I bought bottled water in Australia.” 

Graduation and beyond 


Hema had the opportunity to deliver a sentimental speech at her graduation ceremony.  

It was her way to give thanks to those who had helped her along the way and give well wishes to her fellow graduates. 

I wanted to share the emotional connection that I developed with CDU and the people in it and give thanks to the faculty and non-faculty staff of CDU. 

Since graduating, Hema has applied for the graduate program at Royal Darwin Hospital.  

Explore Bachelor of Nursing degrees at CDU, and learn more about studying in Darwin

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