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Jodi's surprising direction after a nursing degree

This article appears in: Alumni stories, Changing careers, Nursing and Midwifery, Online study
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When Jodi started studying nursing online at CDU, she was working in aged care with the dream of becoming a nurse. A few years later, with her nursing degree in hand, she’s ended up back in aged care. But this time, it’s different. Here's how she bolstered her career, while she was in a long-distance relationship, got married and moved interstate.

“I began my Bachelor of Nursing by studying on campus in my home state, but that didn’t work for me. So, I transferred to study nursing at CDU and never looked back. Without CDU, I doubt I would've ever completed my degree,” said Jodi.

“In the years before that, I’d attained advanced qualifications in aged care and community care. I decided I was capable of more, and that a nursing degree would be a great option, given that previous experience. But since I hadn’t studied for many years, getting my brain back into school was a challenge.”

Studying online from the other side of Australia

Jodie started her degree on campus but after struggling with a long commute, night shifts at work and lots of travel to see her long-distance partner, she started looking for a more flexible online nursing degree.

Learning online with CDU gave me the flexibility to study in my own home and work around my work and family commitments.

"When I flew to see my partner, I could take my course materials with me and study on the go,” she said.

Jodi jumped at the chance to do a placement in Alice Springs. “I had access to the best lecturers CDU had to offer. I loved it so much I ended up moving to Alice Springs for my final semester.”


Jodi Cowen

Jodi’s secrets for successful online study

Jodi found the most challenging aspect of learning was simply finding the motivation to sit and study.

“I became an absolute expert at procrastination. My house was always spotlessly clean when I had a written assignment to complete, and my online shopping expenditure tended to increase as well!”

She also enthuses about study buddies: “Find someone who can motivate you when you each just want to eat chocolate and watch a movie. They can also be a sounding board, someone who can proofread your assignments and be brutally honest. Having friends who are going through the same as you is super valuable."

Without the friends I made online through social media and through placement, I’m not sure I would be where I am now.

A surprise ending to Jodi’s study journey

Upon graduating from CDU, Jodi landed a nursing position at Alice Springs Hospital’s intensive care unit, but she soon discovered that acute nursing was not her passion. “I made the decision to leave my position as a hospital nurse and I went to work as a nurse in an aged care facility!”

Jodi never expected she’d circle back to working in aged care—after all, that’s where she’d been before coming to CDU.

The thing that’s different for Jodi now, though, is she’s a registered nurse and works in an advanced capacity with far more responsibilities.

Returning to aged care, I knew straight away that I’d made the right decision!

"And many people ask why I would want to ‘settle’ for aged care nursing. My response is, it’s not ‘settling’.

“The average aged care resident comes to us with multiple comorbidities that we need to manage while providing them with the support they need to live their best life and the life they chose. It can be a juggling act, but it’s what I’m passionate about.

“And it’s not all ‘peaches and cream’ or ‘cups of tea and chats’ as some people would believe. Aged care is tough! It’s challenging, joyful, sad, frustrating, infuriating, crazy and amazing—all thrown into one pie!


Jody cowen

“Being a nurse means I can get work anywhere in Australia,” concluded Jodi, who now lives with her wife in Port Pirie, South Australia, where she works in an aged care facility and has been promoted to the position of clinical nurse specialist.

Without CDU I wouldn’t have had that opportunity. I just hope I can make a difference to those I care for.

Is it time to invest in your career in health and nursing? Study nursing online or on campus at CDU. Explore courses.

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