Nursing graduate thriving under pressure

Published 11 May 2021
Bachelor of Nursing graduate Sophie Longworth at the front of the Tweed Hospital holding fire fighter helmet Bachelor of Nursing graduate Sophie Longworth outside The Tweed Hospital

For Bachelor of Nursing graduate Sophie Longworth, working under pressure and helping others is in her DNA.

In a family full of paramedics, nurses and hospital workers, a career in health services might seem like a natural progression for her. But she is not your average nurse, outside of the hospital Sophie is also a trained firefighter and surf lifesaver. 

"I knew working full-time as a registered nurse would already be busy but that’s the kind of the environment I thrive in, so I applied while I was at uni and managed to get in," Sophie said. 

"I’ve always had the drive to do what I can for my community, plus who wouldn’t want to get on the big red truck?"  

Working as a retained firefighter at her local station fits in well with Sophie's work as a registered nurse, as she responds to calls for fire and rescue when she isn't rostered on shift at the hospital. 

"I initially thought it would just be a fun thing to do on the side when I’m not at the hospital, but it’s become an important part of my life. The people I've met and experiences I’ve had from being a part of Fire and Rescue NSW have been the highlight of my year," she said. 

"It perfectly complements the achievement of successfully gaining a graduate position at my first preference hospital and ward within the hospital." 

She credits practical classes at University, led by experienced industry professionals, in preparing her to hit the ground running working in a busy hospital 

“The practical classes that we had were such a benefit to my education, being able to practice nursing skills on the simulated mannequins, under the guidance of teachers who have actually worked in the industry, gives you a huge step forward when it comes to doing it on a real person.” 

Nursing students at Southern Cross University are taught in state-of-the-art facilities, including laboratories that simulate authentic healthcare settings with realistic animated mannequins. 

“One week we might be learning basic life support and another week it will be IV medications or inserting a catheter, so the teachers would set up the situation and give us the scenario and we would be walked through it and ask questions along the way.” 

Before completing her final year of study Sophie applied for graduate nursing positions and was awarded her first preference at the Tweed Hospital. 

Studying at Southern Cross University gave me the knowledge and understanding of what I need to bring into the clinical setting as a registered nurse. It gave me the confidence to be able to walk into a patient’s room and say ‘hi my name’s Sophie and I’m your nurse today’, instead of being timid or scared, Sophie said.  

My studies gave me the ability to understand what I need to do for my patients and then get my foot in the door to become the best nurse I could possibly be.” 

Want to find out more about studying nursing at Southern Cross?

Visit scu.edu.au/study-at-scu/health/nursing

Media contact: Content, content@scu.edu.au