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Some people wait a long time to find out what they really want to do in life and what their passions are. Not for eighteen-year old Nanise Bulicakau, a student at Mana College in Porirua. She already knows her strengths and has started working towards her chosen pathway.

‘My strongest subject in school is biology. I love learning about the human body,’ shares Nanise. She has decided to pursue a career in nursing.

There is currently a shortage of nurses in healthcare and aged care, and Nanise’s decision to join this workforce will undoubtedly lead to many opportunities.  

Karin Hall, Care Home Manager at Whitby Rest Home and Hospital, says the aged care sector in particular needs more young people. That’s why the facility has been supportive of student work placements for quite some time. Staff here appreciate that these students can be a big help in the workplace. That’s why they ensure that students are always well supported – starting their placements with orientation where they discuss health and safety procedures and set expectations.

Karin says, “we’ve always wanted students to come here because we think this is a place where they can learn to become compassionate and care for our elderly people.” 

As a step towards her chosen career, Nanise enrolled in Careerforce’s Gateway programme to gain work experience and NCEA credits. She said the programme was a real eye opener for her.

“My work experience at Whitby Rest Home was great. They provided a great work environment for me. It helped me to see what kind of qualities you need to become a nurse and what you need to know in becoming a nurse.”

The staff and residents welcomed Nanise wholeheartedly. Karin said they love her bright smile and enthusiasm. “‘She is very caring and you can see that she is made for looking after people,” she adds.

Nanise shares her biggest learning, “I learnt from my work experience that you need empathy and patience working in this industry.”

Nanise and her family moved to New Zealand from Fiji in 2015. She is the second eldest of four siblings. She shares that her family is very supportive of her career goals.

“They are supporting me all the way and they just want me to focus on one goal and achieve it.”

She encourages other students to give Gateway a try, “it would help them see, feel, and understand what it’s like working in a team and achieving the same goal.”

She said that through Gateway, she now knows what her next steps should be in pursuing her chosen career pathway. She is now looking forward to proudly becoming a registered nurse, and to helping alleviate the workforce shortages to ensure our elderly population continue to receive a high quality of care.

For employers interested in offering work placements to students, please contact our Vocational Pathways Advisors at more about Careerforce Gateway programmes

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