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North Coast Nurse to teach next generation after retraining through TAFE NSW

TAFE NSW Grafton

North Coast Nurse to teach next generation after retraining through TAFE NSW

An Emergency Department nurse who recognised the importance of well-trained healthcare workers has retrained to become a teacher through TAFE NSW Grafton, to focus on supporting nurses entering the industry.

Joanne Eveleigh is undergoing a mid-career transition from nursing into education, studying a Certificate IV in Training and Assessment, and plans to work at Universities and TAFE NSW.  Joanne says with recent pressures on the healthcare industry, staff retention is more important than ever – and access to quality training is a crucial part of this process.

According to the Bureau of Health Information (BHI), Emergency Department staff in NSW experienced the busiest ever January to March quarter in 2023, with 770,089 patients attending Emergency Departments for treatment.

“Working through the pandemic and with changes in the workforce, I could see the young people coming into the industry were facing some really difficult challenges,” Joanne said.

“I wanted to be able provide more guidance for new nurses, to ensure people entering the industry are given the support they need.”

Joanne has recently been recognised at the TAFE NSW Excellence Awards, as Technology and Business Services Student of the Year for the North region.

“I have always got so much out of sharing my knowledge and experience with others, so training to become a teacher was a natural progression for me,” she said.

“The TAFE NSW course taught me skills I didn’t realise would be so valuable – and has given me an incredible foundation to progress in this area. It was a challenge, and I had to overcome some obstacles  but the path to becoming an educator needs to be comprehensive, to ensure people are ready to take on this responsibility.”

“I can’t speak highly enough of my teacher - Jennifer, she passed on so much incredible knowledge from her own industry experience. She showed me that teaching is about looking at the students themselves, to see what support they need, what strengths they have, and how you can help them succeed.”

“There is so much to learn when you are starting out in healthcare, I’ve been there and I’ve seen how important the education process is, in cultivating young workers. It is a privilege to now be a part of that.”

Joanne’s TAFE NSW Teacher Jennifer Agustin said Joanne had a huge impact on the class and was pivotal in forging lifelong connections.

“Throughout the course I ensured that each member of the class had the opportunity to be partnered with her, as this experience inevitably provided her peers with a valuable learning experience,” she said.

“I have said on many occasions that Jo is a natural teacher, she taps into her abundance of empathy to connect with everyone she interacts with.”


Media contact: Lauren McAllister, Communications Specialist,, 02 7920 5000.