Emily follows her heart to nursing

Emily Wilson moved to Chisholm to complete her Year 12 studies and work towards a career in nursing. Now, she can’t wait to see where it takes her.

When Emily Wilson was 12 years old, she was diagnosed with a genetic illness which meant she couldn’t attend high school.

Her mum home-schooled Emily up until the end of Year 11, at which point they decided it was probably time for her to return to a learning institute.

But they weren’t sure whether a mainstream school was the right fit for Emily.

“I hadn’t been in a school environment for a long time,” she says.

“I didn’t know if joining in Year 12 would be a good move.”

Emily’s dream had always been to become a paramedic or midwife.

When her mum found Chisholm was offering a program that combined Year 12 studies with nursing, they knew they were on to something.

“It sounded so perfect and I got very excited to be back in a school environment but a bit different, where everyone was interested in the same thing as I’m interested in,” says Emily.

Emily enrolled in Chisholm’s Year 12 VCAL (Senior) Nursing course, which is now known as VCE Vocational Major (VCE VM).

The course allows students to complete Year 12 at Chisholm and continue on the same study pathway as their VCE/VCE Vocational Major course or choose from many different courses and pathways.

In Emily’s case, she completed her Year 12 studies, and did the first six months of her Diploma of Nursing at the same time.

She then continued with the Diploma of Nursing in her second year at Chisholm.

Emily would spend two days a week learning all about nursing and working towards her career goals, and the rest of the week completing her senior studies.

The independent learning environment at Chisholm suited Emily, and she flew through the course.

“I really liked it because it was a more adult learning,” she says.

“There wasn’t as much pressure from the teachers. You did your work and you passed or you didn’t.”

Emily also enjoyed the practical, hands-on learning in the Diploma of Nursing.

“Next door to our classroom was a lab that was set up like a real hospital, with four beds and we had fake patients,” says Emily.

“We did a lot of our practical learning with heaps of labs and scenarios.”

So, what was it like being taught by a teacher again instead of her mum after so many years outside of the classroom?

“I was nervous about the teachers, but my teacher was so kind and she made it such a great year for me,” says Emily.

When Emily finishes the Diploma of Nursing at the end of 2023, she will have an enrolled nurse qualification under her belt.

She’s learning towards going to university to study midwifery and eventually wants to work abroad.

“My greatest achievement is overcoming my illness,” says Emily.

“I never thought I’d be doing this. I thought I’d always be the sick kid in a hospital bed, but now I’m actually doing what I love.”

For her amazing efforts, Emily was nominated as Senior Student of the Year at the 2023 Chisholm Education Awards.