You might think graphic design and nursing are chalk and cheese, but for Adele Close the two careers give her the perfect life balance.

 “The design side is a really good creative outlet and gives me time at home with the kids. Whereas the nursing is on your feet, meeting people and interacting.

“I love the balance of what I’ve got now, a couple of days of graphic design and three days of nursing is perfect.”

Adele studied her first degree, a Bachelor of Fine Arts, at the University of Tasmania at the age of 19. After working in graphic design for 10 years, she decided it was time to study again and completed the fast-track Nursing degree.

I’d spoken to people who had done the course and said it was manageable. I always had a little bit of interest in the health industry. The options are limitless. There are so many areas in nursing you can go into, which I’m excited about.

Adele Close works as both a nurse and a graphic designer.

“I knew I had 30 more years of working and I wanted to do two careers. It’s not that I get bored with one, it’s more a variety issue. 

“Now I’m working at Calvary three days a week in the surgical ward and then doing my graphic design from home the other two days."

The course was fantastic. Having it at the Domain campus was excellent. It has good parking, it’s easy to get to, and all of our lecturers were amazing.

“My children were three and four when I was doing my Nursing degree. The good thing for me was being able to do most of it from home and still being able to be with the kids, do drop-offs, and study.

Having everything online was so accessible. I never felt like I couldn’t find things. I felt constantly like I was completely in the loop with everything.

“We had certain times we had to be at Uni, but if you couldn’t get to a lecture you could watch it online that night. That was awesome. If you’ve got kids and you’re trying to work as well, you could juggle it to suit what you wanted to do and not be disadvantaged in any way. You can rewind the lecture, rewatch parts, get a coffee and come back.

Being mature age, I think it’s a bit different from when you first study straight out of college. You’re juggling other commitments and with 10 years of a career behind you, you develop high expectations of yourself which can make the journey more challenging.

“The first few semesters were hard, remembering how to write essays but once we got going, we had really good support, and really good lecturers that were very approachable and really easy to go and see and ask for feedback. Within a couple of months I felt like I was right back into it.

“I was really lucky with my placements, I had a really good range and they were all Hobart-based, and all within driving distance which made it easier, having children.

It’s a nice community up at the Domain. It’s little, you see people that you know, and you’re constantly around other people studying the same thing. It’s a beautiful location. You can get a coffee and sit on the grass in between tutorials- it’s got a really nice feel to it. I felt really comfortable there.

“Learning again was the big thing for me. I felt completely at the top of the job I was doing. I knew everything I needed to know. I wasn’t really pushing myself. I got really excited about learning and reading and finding out new stuff.

I met so many people in the same situation as me. A lot of the friends I have made are also mums or people who have had careers previously and have come back to do Nursing. I have made heaps of lifelong friends through this degree and it’s awesome to now be working with some of them and I hope to cross paths with the others throughout my career.

“My maternity prac was probably my favourite, so who knows, I might just go back and study Midwifery next."