Nursing was a natural career choice for Ethan Watters. “I came from a very medical family,” he says. His grandmother worked in hospital administration, his grandfather delivered medical oxygen, his mother was a dental nurse, and his uncle had been a nurse before studying to become a doctor.
So determined was he to follow in their steps, he completed his first qualifications - a Certificate III in AIN (Assistant in Nursing) and then a one-year Diploma of Nursing - while he was still at high school studying for his Higher School Certificate.
He split his Year 12 study load over two years. After his HSC, Ethan got a job as an endorsed enrolled nurse (working under a Registered Nurse) in the Trauma Unit of the John Hunter Hospital in Newcastle. He used his qualifications to do a Bachelor of Nursing, finishing a year earlier because of his previous study, and is now considering a Masters year.
Rather than aiming for a medical degree, Ethan says he chose nursing because it has “more of a hands-on, humanistic aspect of healthcare than medicine”.
Now aged 21, and working as a Registered Nurse in emergency at St Vincent’s Hospital in Sydney, Ethan says he values the fact that nursing can lead into so many different career paths.
“It is not just listening to the doctor and blindly doing what they tell you on a ward in a hospital,” he says.