Kara Smith

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During my second year of my Bachelor of Nursing degree, I was allocated a placement in a district nursing service in a rural Victorian town. At the time, I thought the best part was having family who lived in the town to stay with, however this placement ultimately ignited my passion for community nursing and guided my nursing career onto this path.

This four- week placement quickly opened by eyes to the benefits of providing health care in the home and changed my perspective of the patients I would go on to care for in hospital beds. Often in hospital, we have little context or insight into the person’s home environment and what we are discharging them home to. After completing another community placement in my 3rd year, I was sold, and applied for a graduate position that provided a rotation in district nursing.

This passion drove me to further my education in community nursing and a quick Goggle search of graduate certificates resulted in me enrolling to complete a Graduate Certificate in Community and Primary Health Care Nursing with the ACN.

In 2019 I successfully completed the Certificate and since then I have been successful in securing a permanent dual role as a District Nurse and a Nursing Coordinator for a national not-for-profit organisation which provides health care in the community.

The structure of the ACN program allowed to me to continue working my rostered hours and greatly developed my knowledge, skills and confidence as a district nurse. I was able to directly apply the course content to support my clients to achieve their goals, while also challenging me to expand my clinical reasoning and apply this to the community setting.

Further, the Leadership and Professional Practice unit presented me with an insight and step into nursing leadership and provided me with sound knowledge and strategies to emerge as a nurse leader in my role today.

The ACN post Graduate Certificate has allowed me to progress my career in an area of nursing that is rapidly growing and proving to be imperative to providing safe, quality care to our ageing population in their home, which ultimately improves health outcomes and quality of life.

Kara Smith

ACN Graduate Certificate in Community and Primary Health Care Nursing