There are many pathways to reach the same destination, as Taryn Vernham will attest to. Instead of going to university to study nursing, she decided to take a different route.

Taryn Vernham couldn’t wait to get started in nursing.

Her mum had studied nursing and Taryn had always liked caring for people, so she knew it was her calling in life.

When Taryn fell victim to bullying at high school, she decided it was time for a change.

She enrolled in Chisholm’s Year 11 VCAL (Intermediate) Community Services, followed by the Year 12 VCAL (Senior) Nursing course.

“I chose to take a leap of faith and try doing year 11 at Chisholm, then go on in Year 12 and get an earlier start in nursing, instead of waiting and going to university after school,” she says. “It was the best decision for me.”

Chisholm’s Year 12 VCAL (Senior) Nursing course allows year 12 students to begin their Diploma of Nursing early, and then complete it the following year.

At the end of the program, students are eligible for registration as an enrolled nurse in Australia.

During the course, participants gain industry-specific training in everything from client assessment and anatomy and physiology, to infection control and analysis of health information.

Taryn says focussing on nursing and getting that head start meant she was more engaged in her studies.

“At school, you’re learning about a whole range of subjects that aren’t necessarily what you’re interested in,” she says. “It was nice to be studying something that I know I am going to enjoy and be able to put into place in my life.”

Taryn found the teachers at Chisholm to be very encouraging and says she didn’t struggle academically with the transition from high school to a TAFE setting.

In fact, Taryn did so well at Chisholm, she was even nominated as Secondary Student of the Year at the 2022 Chisholm Education Awards.

Taryn’s dream is to one day work or volunteer with Mercy Ships, delivering medical assistance to underprivileged people.

“They sail around to places like Africa and offer free healthcare,” she says. “I think it would be amazing to work with them.”