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Mother and daughter embark on nursing journey together

Traci and Ashlyn Strochnetter will soon share more than a mother daughter relationship, as they are embarking on a three-year journey studying for a Bachelor of Nursing with the University of Tasmania.

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Traci and Ashlyn Strochnetter are already familiar faces on the Cradle Coast campus. In 2022 Traci received a Diploma of University Studies (Nursing Foundation Studies) and Ashlyn a Diploma of University Studies (Health).

They are both excited about the year ahead in the knowledge they will be able to help each other with their studies.

“I’ve always wanted to be a nurse, but because I didn’t do overly well in high school I figured I wasn’t smart enough to do it,” Traci said.

“Then I did my aged care certificate six years ago and the teacher said to me at the time that I needed to go and study nursing.

“When the University opened at West Park and nursing was available here, which meant I didn’t have to go to Launceston or Hobart, I decided there was nothing stopping me now.”

Nurses Traci and Ashlyn Strochnetter
Traci and Ashlyn Strochnetter have started their studies in 2023 toward a Bachelor of Nursing with the University of Tasmania at the Cradle Coast campus.

Traci said working as a carer in aged care had motivated her to further her study and her career.

Ashlyn’s early efforts at University in Launceston studying nutrition were suddenly halted when she fell ill and was later diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease.

She returned to Burnie and decided on a change of direction, undertaking her Diploma and then enrolling in the Bachelor degree.

“I really like that I can do my degree here and get the help I need,” Ashlyn said.

“When I finish my degree I hope to work as a midwife and because of my experience it would be interesting to work as a chronic diseases nurse.”

The Bachelor of Nursing students took part in early Orientation activities, with classes kicking off already.

Associate Professor of Nursing Dr Pieter Van Dam said it was exciting to see the 2023 Bachelor of Nursing cohort on campus.

Associate Professor Van Dam said many students expressed gratitude to have the undergraduate degree available to them at the Cradle Coast campus and this availability influenced their decision to take up the study.

“We are not just preparing these students for a career in nursing, most importantly we are giving them access to first-class nursing education so that they are well prepared to take up positions in regional Tasmania,” he said.

“We know from experience that the nursing graduates who complete their studies in the North-West are more likely to stay and that benefits the region in many ways.”

Orientation Week begins for the University on February 13, with more students enrolled to study this year across nursing, education, psychological science, medicine and social work, as well as pharmacy for the first time.


Pro Vice-Chancellor (Cradle Coast) Professor Jim Cavaye issued a warm welcome to this year’s new and returning students.

“Since the campus moved to West Park we have seen year-on-year growth in our enrolments from students all over the North-West,” he said.

“Our first-year intake for nursing in 2023 was oversubscribed and we quickly filled the 90 places available.

“We continue to have strong interest from school leavers, but importantly we also have many students who are over 30 and looking to change careers by completing their tertiary study with the University.

“University staff can’t wait to see them all on campus.”

Semester one begins for the remaining disciplines on February 21.