Karen had been in the nursing field for over thirty years, and the experience and on-the-job training she gained over that time was all she needed to get three nationally recognised qualifications. Working with John from Churchill Education to get credit for RPL (Recognition of Prior Learning), Karen rounded off the first quarter of her year with a BSB60407 Advanced Diploma of Management (now superseded by BSB61015 Advanced Diploma of Leadership and Management), a HLT50412 Diploma of Paramedical Science (Ambulance) (now superseded by HLT51015 Diploma of Paramedical Science) and a BSB51312 Diploma of Work Health and Safety (now superseded by BSB51315 Diploma of Work Health and Safety) to add to her resume.
Several years ago, Karen was working as a Nursing Director for Queensland Health. Then, in the re-shuffle that happened with a change of government, she was made redundant. Fast-forward a few years to today, and Karen is working as an RN (Registered Nurse), Injury Management Officer and a rescue nurse in the mining community of the Bowen Basin.
Karen is happy in her current job, but the experience of playing the jobseeker game again after being with Queensland Health for over twelve years made her realise that formal qualifications would open up different avenues when she was looking for work.
‘Another nurse who I work with told me that they’d gotten their qualifications with Churchill Education, and that I should contact them too,’ Karen says. ‘So I did, and I applied to get the RPL for just one qualification.’ But, as it turned out, Karen had seriously underestimated just how much her experience counted for.
‘John got in touch and said that they’d looked at my resume and figured out they could get me a lot more than that one qualification with my RPL. I got three, and there was even more I could have gotten if I’d wanted to. It does feel good to have all of that experience recognised,’ Karen says. ‘It was a confidence boost and I’m very proud.’
‘Workplace health and safety qualifications are important for working in the mines, you need to align yourself with industry standards,’ Karen says. ‘In fact, two more of my colleagues are now working with Churchill to get their qualifications, too. I recommended John to them.’
Now, if she finds herself playing the jobseeker game again, Karen feels that she has a definite advantage over others going for the same jobs. ‘There’s a lot of competition for nursing jobs in the mining industry because of the lifestyle, and the new experience it offers,’ she says. ‘So, you have to make yourself look especially attractive to all the companies that are hiring.’
With her three nationally recognised qualifications already completed and a fourth on the way, Karen McManus is definitely holding a winning hand.
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