Cristy Rowe didn't know whether she wanted to be an air traffic controller, a forensic scientist or a nurse when she finished year 12 at Narrabri High School. So she took a year off study to think about what she really wanted to do. She deferred courses in Aviation, Law and Forensic Science and travelled.
By the time she arrived back in Narrabri she knew she wanted to be a nurse and make a difference to the huge shortage of nurses in regional and country Australia.
"I really want to work with people and nursing is a versatile profession," Cristy says. "I'll be able to join the air force as a nurse when I finish my degree - it's a win-win situation."
Cristy chose to study the Bachelor of Nursing at the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS). "The UTS course has a great reputation and includes a lot of hours in practical clinical experience which is important in a profession like nursing."
Cristy says when she came to Sydney she hardly knew anyone. She moved into a UTS Student Residence close to the University and did not take long to make new friends from across NSW and the world.
Now in her second year, Cristy says she is looking forward to choosing a sub major in an area such as paediatric, aged care, medical surgical or mental health nursing. "When I finish I'd still like to join the air force and maybe go to Africa," she said.
"But nursing provides such a portable career, the sky is the limit as far as where I could end up."