Skip to main content

Student stories

Neil proves it’s never too late to become a nurse

This article appears in: Nursing and Midwifery, Online study
Neil and his colleagues

Neil Addis was 53 years old when he finally fulfilled his dream of becoming a Registered Nurse. Now he supports others to achieve their dreams of a career helping others in the healthcare sector.

Neil’s lifelong dream of becoming a Registered Nurse had to be put on hold when life had other plans. But the dream of achieving that goal never went away.

I had always had a desire to become a nurse, but as life does it kind of got in the way

When the opportunity to study externally as a mature-aged student at CDU presented itself, Neil took it.

He admits that studying externally took discipline and organisation on his behalf but that it has helped him enormously in his career.

Neil sitting in his office chair

Since finishing his Bachelor of Nursing degree in 2012, Neil has gone on to undertake further study to grow his skills. He owes the confidence to do more study to doing his undergraduate degree with CDU.

Gaining a degree gave me the confidence to undertake further education in Management and Education; it ensured my planning and organisational skills were up to speed.”

As part of the course, CDU offers hands-on nursing labs giving students the opportunity to put what they learn into practice. Through these labs, Neil has learned practical and high-quality nursing skills and made friends that he still has to this day.

These skills, coupled with knowledgeable and helpful tutors, now sees Neil helping others achieve their own dreams of a career in healthcare.

As the Undergraduate Clinical Facilitator and Graduate Coordinator for Ramsay Health Care in Cairns, Neil coordinates placements and assessments for graduates and students across the health service and is responsible for running the hospital orientation for new starters.

He also trains graduates in the hands-on functions of nursing including IV cannulation, insertion of indwelling urinary catheters (IDCs), and education in peripherally inserted central venous catheters (PICCs) and ports, and is the Resuscitation Trainer for three hospitals teaching Basic Life Support, Paediatric Resuscitation and coordination of the Advances Life Support course.

Neil is living and working proof that studying externally is just as good at preparing you for the real world as studying on-campus.

Neil recommends external study and has some great advice for anyone thinking about enrolling:

“I would ensure you are well organised and have support at home. It was hard but worth it in the end. As they say - 'if it was easy we'd all have a degree!”

As a new world university, we think differently. We innovate, lead and embrace change. And Charles Darwin University College of Nursing and Midwifery lecturers are some of the best in the business, ready to help you take your career to the next level.

Explore 300+ courses

Certificates, diplomas and degrees

Hear more from CDU

Keep up-to-date with key dates, study tips, student stories and more.