45 years nursing experience
Ever wondered what it’s like to upskill from a registered nurse to a remote area nurse? RAN/RN Margaret has walked down this path and most recently worked in New south Wales.
If you are considering this upskilling journey, read below to discover her unique story and some quality advice on how to adapt to life as a remote area nurse.
1. How has your time been in the Tenterfield Hospital in New South Wales? What would you recommend doing around the area?
I have enjoyed working at Tenterfield Hospital, they have a very busy emergency department with friendly core staff who are dedicated to their community.
Tenterfield is a really pretty country town, famous for the birth of a nation and federation but extremely cold during winter.
I highly recommend Autumn for the best photography, plus there are surrounding national parks for the fitness/nature enthusiasts and dams for fishing.
2. How have your experiences been, working as a Remote Area Nurse (RAN) and a Registered Nurse (RN)? Are there any key differences you can point out?
RAN work is challenging and a step in the right direction for an RN considering working in remote communities.
I enjoy the autonomy combined with contributing to the healthcare of isolated communities in a positive way.
I chose this career path as a way of expanding my experience and qualifications as an RN, plus travelling to different areas of Australia is a bonus.
The collegial friendships added with a strong sense of teamwork provides a supportive environment in which I have also made friends for life.
I would highly recommend working as a RAN, but make sure you plan ahead with the credentials to work in different states.
3. What has been one of your most challenging or rewarding experiences in your RAN career?
My most challenging and rewarding experience working as a RAN was assisting a woman to birth on country in a very remote community.
The team of RANs were just brilliant and it was such a privilege to welcome the baby into her community.
We were all so relieved and grateful that the birth was uneventful as the CARE flight was delayed!
These are the unexpected life experiences which make RAN work so joyful but hectic sometimes.
4. You are on your sixth placement with us – what has been the highlight working with Affinity so far?
The highlight for me so far working with Affinity is the opportunity to work in remote communities in the Northern Territory.
The Top End is a beautiful place and the people are friendly and welcoming towards healthcare staff.
The primary health clinics are always busy and the opportunities to experience a different way of nursing are endless.
I have been working as a nurse for most of my life and this is the perfect way to complete my career, maybe one day!
5. You have taken many beautiful photos! Do you have a favourite shot? What’s the story behind it?
This photo represents all that is stunningly beautiful about the Northern Territory, the open spaces, peace and quiet, the long distances and of course the adventure.
This is Bessie Springs, a secluded place near Borroloola in the Gulf of Carpinteria.
I travelled with a group of nurses for at least two hours on red dirt roads to find this freshwater swimming hole complete with freshwater crocodiles! Absolutely stunning country!
6. What advice would you give nurses wanting to transition into a qualified RAN?
Transitioning into working as a qualified RAN can be challenging, but if you find the motivation to do so, you won’t regret making that decision.
My advice for an RN choosing this career path is to plan well in advance, take on any educational opportunities provided by your agency and always maintain communication with your placement specialist.
I have enjoyed working with Affinity and always recommend the agency to other nurses looking for a career change. Thank you for giving me this opportunity to share my thoughts and experiences.
Whether you’re a fledgling nurse looking to kick-start your agency nursing career, or an experienced nurse interested in upskilling to a RAN, we can support you and your goals.
Join an agency that truly cares – register with Affinity today!