Ursula Norton

Airforce wife and mother of two has distance learning to thank for enabling her to undertake Master of Veterinary Medicine (MVM) courses at Massey University.

During the last six years, Ursula Norton, wife of an Australian Army defence force pilot, has moved home twice, worked full-time and raised two daughters, all while working on her Master courses.  

Without the flexibility of Massey’s MVM through distance learning, this wouldn’t have been possible for Ursula.

"I couldn't have done any other study as effectively because you can’t be on campus if you’re moving home. The logistics of staying in one place, with two kids and a partner going overseas wasn't going to work," says Norton.

The opportunity for professional development after maternity leave was important for her to feel confident about returning to work and treating her patients.

"I took time off having my daughter and wanted to do some study to improve my knowledge again and get back into the swing of things.

"Study makes it easier to treat my patients. I'm not um-ing and ah-ing. I'm confident to diagnose and present treatment options knowing I have the learning to back it up," says Norton.

For Ursula, the quality of Massey's Masters of Veterinary Medicine (MVM) wasn't available in Australia, causing her to look offshore for post-graduate study options.  

"I wanted to do further study. Massey's courses seemed more clinically relevant and practically useful for me than Australian alternatives," says Norton.

Now working as a clinical veterinarian, Norton puts her postgraduate study into daily practice and she wants to continue studying with Massey University, even after completing her MVM. 

"The up-to-date education of emergency medicine was very topical for my small clinic, which doesn't have access to specialists at night, so my knowledge is very useful.

"Once I've finished my Masters, I think I’ll take a couple more papers. They’re so helpful and enjoyable," says Norton.

And that’s not all. Thanks to increased confidence from her studies, this super-mum has applied to sit her membership for the Australian and New Zealand College of Veterinary Science exams this year.

"Studying has given me the self assurance to apply for the membership exams, which is the big next step in my career as it will hopefully open up a wider sphere of employment and help me to move towards education," says Ursula. 

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