Olivia Eriksen, originally from Cushnie, with her certificate on graduation day last year (Photo: CQU)

June 6, 2024

A desire to make a positive impact in the world has helped former Kingaroy State High School captain Olivia Eriksen pursue her nursing career with passion.

Olivia, who was named the South Burnett’s Young Citizen of the Year in 2021, graduated from CQ University last year.

She finished high school in 2020 right in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I knew the demand (for healthcare professionals) wasn’t going to go away, and I always had a passion for caring for others,” Olivia said.

She was initially interested in a dual degree in nursing and paramedicine, but then found her calling for nursing at CQ University Bundaberg.

“CQU was the best university option for me as they were able to offer my degree externally. I was able to stay in my hometown and study while also working through COVID,” Olivia said.

“Studying is like a rollercoaster; it always had its ups and downs and for short stints it would plateau.

“Sometimes I found it difficult to manage working full-time to get an income while also studying full-time, financial hardship during period of inflation in the world and finding enough time to enjoy a social life that was outside studying.

“But I always strive to be the best nurse I can be and am always looking for extra opportunities to expand my skillset and knowledge.”

Olivia is now working as a Registered Nurse in the perioperative department at St Vincent’s Private Hospital in Toowoomba but is eager to continue learning and growing in her career.

“During the 12-month program, I rotate throughout all different areas of the department to have a taste of what each nursing role entails in each area,” she said.

“I have realised just how impactful you can be in such a short period of time with the patient.

“My plans are to pursue postgraduate studies and eventually become a Clinical Nurse.

“I would love to be able to teach aspiring nursing students in the future and pass on my knowledge to them.”

FLASHBACK: Olivia Eriksen was presented with the Young Citizen of the Year Ward by Member for Nanango Deb Frecklington at the 2021 Australia Day Awards


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