Award winner waits 20 years for nursing appointment

Thursday, 10 April 2014

It took Antonietta Johnson two decades to fulfil her promise to herself to become a nurse.

But at the age of 41, her ambition and perseverance was rewarded last night when she was named Challenger Institute of Technology’s Vocational Student of the Year.

Antonietta, a Diploma of Nursing student, was presented with the award at Challenger Institute’s Student Awards Ceremony in Fremantle.

The ceremony recognised the achievements of more than 70 students from across the institute, as well as five major award winners in the categories Apprentice of the Year, Trainee of the Year, Aboriginal Student of the Year, VET in Schools Student of the Year and Vocational Student of the Year.

For more than 20 years, life’s challenges had hindered Antonietta’s dream but never extinguished it. The wait has proven worthwhile, with Antonietta’s lecturers praising her maturity, empathy and commitment.

“During her clinical placement, Antonietta displayed an outstanding ability to build rapport with patients,” Challenger nursing lecturer Felicity Smith said.

“This is a difficult skill to develop and one that helps nurses deliver the optimal care that can make hospitalisation a more positive experience.”

Nursing represented a major change from her earlier Diploma of Interior Design studies but the interior of a hospital is where Antonietta feels more at home.

“I really enjoyed the practical components of the course, such as human anatomy and physiology, but am also interested in learning how to work effectively with a culturally diverse range of patients and co-workers,” she said.

The 2013 Vocational Student of the Year Award was proudly sponsored by the Rotary Clubs of Fremantle and Applecross.

PHOTO CAPTION: Challenger Institute’s 2013 Vocational Student of the Year Award winner Antonietta Johnson.

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