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From nature to nursing

Victorian aged care nurse, Sally Walters, is reportedly one of 110 Villa Maria nurses working across aged, disability and specialist education services whose hard work and dedication will be celebrated by the not for profit organisation on International Nurses Day today (Tuesday, 12 May 2015).
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Passion, patience and a positive attitude is what Sally Walters believes makes her a successful nurse.

Passion, patience and a positive attitude is what Ms Walters believes makes her a successful nurse.

She has worked at Villa Maria’s Berwick aged care residence for eight years; first as a Personal Care Assistant (PCA), working her way up to her current role as an Endorsed Enrolled Nurse (EEN). She is now studying full time online with the University of South Australia to become a Registered Nurse (RN1).

Ms Walters path to nursing is described as an "unusual one". 

“I have a degree in Parks and Recreational Management and was working as a horticulturalist in Western Australia when I came back to Melbourne. Unfortunately, we were in a drought so there was no work. It was then I looked to nursing as there were some positions available," Ms Walters says.

Since swapping 'plants' for 'people' she hasn’t looked back.

“There are so many rewards for being a nurse, particularly in aged care. You could be having the worst day and then one resident will say ‘thank you’ and that will make all the difference," she says.

“You also get the benefits of sharing in the residents’ wisdom and hearing wonderful stories from throughout their lives.  The residents are just like part of our extended family, I’ve formed some really lovely bonds.”

Ms Walters also occasionally fields the odd horticultural question, taking her back to her roots.

“People bring me in bits of plants and ask me to identify this flower and that bug. I’ve also had a bit of involvement with landscaping around the place," she says.

Ms Walters shares some advice for those considering entering the nursing field. 

“It’s certainly hard work; you need to be dedicated and have a passion for it. But you see the rewards every day. I love it.”

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