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Mother’s healthcare experience inspires nursing student

Bachelor of Nursing student McKenzie Milne.

Bachelor of Nursing student McKenzie Milne was inspired to study nursing after seeing the care her chronically ill mother received, both at home and in hospital.

“My mum has been unwell my entire life, so I’ve experienced first-hand the impact of receiving long-term healthcare,” Ms Milne says. “Unfortunately it hasn’t always been a positive experience, so understanding how healthcare effects an entire family is really important for me to incorporate when I provide care on my nursing placements, and going forward in my career.

“I'm really interested and passionate about how people give and receive healthcare and how people are treated within the healthcare system.”

The 24-year-old from Palmerston North previously studied a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Education and Linguistics at Massey.

“After I graduated, I felt ready to move into the workforce, but I had always felt a natural pull towards nursing. I didn’t feel like my study journey was over, so at the last minute I enrolled in the nursing programme and it’s been the best decision I ever made. This degree is what I was searching for – I just didn’t realise it until I fell into it.”

Ms Milne also works casually while studying. “I work as a healthcare assistant at Arohanui Hospice – mostly night shift work assisting registered nurses to complete patient care and housekeeping, laundry et cetera. I got this job after doing my nursing placement there in my second year of study. I also work as a retail assistant at a giftware store in [shopping mall] The Plaza, and as a cabler for Sky Sport working local events by helping with cabling for the camera crews.”

Supportive learning environment

The former Awatapu College pupil, who flats with two friends and cat Marley, says making time for family and friends while studying is really important. “I am a social person and don’t enjoy the loneliness that can sometimes come with shutting myself away to study for exams. I also like to play social sport when I can around my nursing placements.” 

A highlight of her studies so far was the Hearing Voices simulation lab, as part of the second-year mental health paper. “The facilities here at Massey, including the simulation lab, have really opened my eyes to how care should be given before going into clinical placements. We work with simulation dummies. They simulate pulses and breaths and it allows you to identify factors that you're looking for on placement.”

She says the support has also been key to her studies. “I’ve been really lucky to be part of such a supportive cohort here at Massey. The support of other students is really key to progressing in your learning and helping you enjoy all the factors of student life. I just feel really blessed to be part of a really good supportive team that have helped me through this journey.”

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