I am six weeks into a Bachelor of Nursing at university. That means I have twenty weeks of lectures left for the entire year, as each semester runs for thirteen weeks.

This first semester is all about theory. We have four units, and each week is composed of one lecture per unit and then its corresponding tutorial. One class is all about the culture of nursing as well as its past, present and future – it’s “navel-gazing” as our tutor described it. Another unit is essentially high school health all grown up – health care issues faced by the wider Australian community. Our third unit is paediatric nursing theory, and the fourth is mental health (my favourite).

Next semester is rumoured as time to get serious. There’s a bioscience unit that keeps getting mentioned like an academic boogeyman. Ooooh, bioscience. Ooooh, if you fail it you can’t take any units in second year. Ooooh, cadavers. It’s an attitude which irritates me. If it’s so big and scary then give me the textbooks now and let me start exorcising worry demons with the holy sword of preparation! (Last night I paid too much attention to the existence of Dragon Age and now I am jonesing for Baldur’s Gate.)

It’s very interesting to be back at uni after my spectacular failing to earn an English degree in 2001/2002. It’s a different uni, for starters, so they may just have always done things differently. And it is also a very different course – one with an actual career at the end of it. But what really strikes me is that I feel much, much, much more support from this university than I ever felt from my first one. The new uni seems to have really embraced use of the internet, which suits me much more than other communication methods. Overall, it just seems to care more about the students somehow. I don’t remember having a course co-ordinator for my BA, but we very definitely have a very accessible co-ordinator for nursing.

I’m tentatively positive about the whole uni and nursing thing. Perhaps because I haven’t had a proper assignment back yet. Unlike many of the other students, I have no clinical experience, so that whole area could bring a pretty rude awakening. I am also well aware of my mathematical weaknesses. So, we shall see! A fellow student works for a local pathology lab and he suggested I could use my phlebotomy certificate to get some work there – unbeknownst to him, I have only ever drawn blood from a rubber arm. It’s definitely something to look into, but I may wait until I’ve determined that five seconds holding a cadaver’s liver doesn’t make me flee back to the safety of the temping world.