Hayden Ellis has always liked the idea of helping people. He found his calling as a nurse and used Chisholm’s Diploma of Nursing as a stepping-stone to university.

When Hayden Ellis developed post-viral chronic fatigue in high school, it really affected his study.

He ended up graduating two years after he was due to finish and completing VCE without a study score.

But like many young people, Hayden found an alternative pathway to the career he wanted to pursue.

Hayden had always had a compassionate nature and when an aptitude test revealed he would make a great nurse, he knew that’s where his heart lay.

“I’ve never liked seeing people in pain, so I always wanted to put myself in a position where I could help somebody instead of being unsure how to help,” he says.

Hayden decided to enrol in Chisholm’s Diploma of Nursing.

He liked the fact that it could lead him to a bachelor’s degree, while still giving him experience and putting him in a position to help people.

“What I’ve liked in the course is the strong connections I’ve made with both my peers and my teachers,” says Hayden. “Having a connection with my classmates really brought me out of my shell.”

Hayden made friends at TAFE and found it was the perfect environment for him to get the support he needed to excel. He was even nominated as Vocational Student of the Year at the 2022 Chisholm Education Awards.

“The teachers were incredibly supportive,” he says. “I tend to be an overachiever and push and push. Every time I sent an email, I’d always get a response.”

Throughout his Diploma, Hayden did work placement at several establishments.

He particularly enjoyed a mental health placement at Shepparton Private Hospital and a rehabilitation placement at Peter James Centre in Burwood East.

“Getting that hands-on experience and building that confidence is really important,” he says. That’s one thing I know I need to keep working on as a nurse, building that confidence, especially in a hospital setting. Having that real-life experience is incredibly beneficial.”

Hayden’s goal is to do a Bachelor of Nursing next, followed by a registered nurse grad year and go from there. He’d love to travel and keep furthering his nursing knowledge.

“If you’re passionate about wanting to help people, then I definitely think it’s the course for you,” says Hayden. “There are some hard moments, especially in the first six months, but if you put the work in and really apply yourself, the teachers love seeing that. They will gravitate to you and give you as much support as you want and need.”