Natalie Turley in radiation oncology ward at Westmead Hospital

Natalie ranks nursing #1

Friday, March 31, 2023
Brenton Stacey
About the Author

Brenton Stacey

Twitter LinkedIn Profile

Brenton is Avondale University’s Public Relations and Philanthropy Officer. He brings to the role experience as a communicator in publishing, media relations, public relations, radio and television, mostly within the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the South Pacific and its entities.

National survey shows grads agree about quality of our course

The care a pastor received as a patient then nurse-in-training and her responses to a national survey show why students rank our course best in Australia.

Natalie Turley thanks staff members in our School of Nursing and Health for “giving me their time.” She remembers struggling with chemistry in one of the science units, “so the lecturer said, ‘Let’s meet up. I’m free here, here and here. She gave us so many opportunities to go over the material. In the end, we understood what we needed to know.” Natalie, her husband and four children were also moving house so she missed a few classes, “but the lecturers helped me catch up.”

Natalie received her degree in 2021. She and 59 of her classmates have since completed a Quality Indicators for Learning and Teaching survey about graduate outcomes. Their responses—more than 93 per cent “agreed” or “strongly agreed” with a statement about the quality of the course—rank our Bachelor of Nursing as number one for overall satisfaction compared to the 36 other universities and higher education providers offering a similar course. The national average is about 75 per cent.*

Head of school Tamera Gosling thanks her staff for being “fully committed to a quality learning experience. They live out our Avondale values, which reflects their own faith and spirituality.” Teaching students like Natalie who share those values—and then apply them in the workplace—brings its own satisfaction “because I can see they understand our core wholistic care philosophy.”

A long stint as a hospital patient convinced Natalie to become a nurse. A church pastor at the time, she left work for a routine check up one day and never really came back. “I was sick for a couple of years and had lots of surgery.” The quality of care she received varied. “I had some good nurses and some bad nurses. It makes or breaks your day.”

After transferring to Sydney Adventist Hospital, Natalie received regular visits from her daughter, a nursing student in our school on the grounds. “She raved about her experience at Avondale. I got jealous.” After Natalie enrolled in the course, her daughter enjoyed reminding her, “‘Mum, I’m a second-year nurse; you’re a first-year.’ We loved studying together.”

Natalie is now working in radiation oncology at Westmead Hospital. “The cancer journey is a tough one for patients and families. As a nurse, I have the privilege of supporting them along the way. The wholistic focus of my degree prepared me for being part of this private space. You don’t have to have the right words to say. You just have to be present and available. That’s what’s been modelled to us.”

* See

Photograph: Registered nurse—and Avondale University graduate—Natalie Turley with radiation oncologist Professor Sandra Turner and radiation therapists Rory and Renee at the Westmead Hospital.

Study nursing at Avondale

Looking for a course that will give you the skills to be job-ready and provide an experience you’ll love. Number one in Australia, our nursing degree is highly practical, producing capable and in-demand registered nurses.