Village News

Caregiver to Registered Nurse

28 March 2024

Josie Keelan

Meet Josie, a care driven individual who started as a caregiver in our beautiful Somervale village, completed her nursing education with the support of her team and the wider company and is now providing top excellent health care to our residents as a Registered Nurse.

Josie began as a Level 0 Caregiver in 2011 straight out of school, joining Metlifecare as a full-time caregiver in 2021.

Whilst working as a caregiver she witnessed the nurses interacting with the residents and felt she wanted to develop and move into nursing. When she began her nursing education, she was able to join the MetFlex casual team which allowed her to study whilst still working at Somervale.

At times, it was hard to balance the life of a casual caregiver as well as studying to become a Registered Nurse. Fatigue, time management, balancing work, study, and family were all things to consider and manage.

“The care team at Somervale from my manager through to the Registered Nurses were very supportive. I felt my wellbeing was a priority at Metlifecare.”

Metlifecare provides the support for those wanting to develop and grow in their career journeys, and so being able to move into the MetFlex team is a wonderful option for those who wish to study.

“There was no pressure to accept extra shifts and when it became too much working as a permanent staff member, being able to remain as a casual made a huge difference as I had flexibility around time to study, sit exams, go on placement and earn an income at the same time.”

Metlifecare provided a grant for the first year of her course, which reduced her student loan quite considerably. Once she joined the team as a Registered Nurse, she was also granted her Registered Nurse Retention Bonus!

Working with the team of Registered Nurses at Somervale, she was provided teaching opportunities on the job as well as being able to share learnings and experiences. Residents also provided her encouragement, wanting to hear about her studies and taking delight in her successes.

When asked what advice she would give to employees wanting to pursue nursing or higher education while working at Metlifecare, Josie said, “Just do it! It is so worth it and by working in Aged Care while studying, it helped to consolidate what I was learning. Metlifecare was very supportive of my journey! I feel I am constantly learning and growing and know at the end of the day I make a difference.”

“For myself, I would one day like to become a Nurse Practitioner and maybe even get a degree in Gerontology. I want to remain in Aged Care, as this is my passion!”

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