When Ann Gutsell started her nursing degree at Otago Polytechnic, she had very high expectations. “As an older student, it was important to get the best education I could get. I was living in Marlborough and researched all the schools. Otago Polytechnic had the best graduate stats, post graduate stats, and employment stats. I was ecstatic when I was accepted”.
Ann believes she made the right decision. “The resources there are amazing, and there’s a really good mix of theoretical and practical.” She didn’t know anyone at the School of Nursing, but soon made friends. “The people you meet and study with, they become friends for life.” Three years later, and Ann is now working at Te Ara Hauora (Maori Liaison Services) at Dunedin Hospital.
“The lecturers at Otago Polytechnic taught us the reality of nursing and gave us the learning and foundations we need. They introduced us to working nurses who’ve been doing the job for years. That’s really important, so we knew what we were getting into.” Ann’s caring nature, her aptitude, and attitude make her a wonderful nurse. These qualities were acknowledged at her graduation when she was awarded the inaugural Brittany Arthur Memorial Scholarship. Brittany was a nursing student at Otago Polytechnic in 2016 when she succumbed to meningitis. Ann, a mother herself, was very grateful for the acknowledgement.
“The fact that it was awarded by parents who’ve lost a child. They don’t know how humbling that is”. Humble is the perfect word for Ann. She smiles shyly as she exclaims “We’re not saints, we’re just humans with extra super skills!”