A Lifetime of Learning Brings Kate Bills Full Circle on Rotamah Ward

When she was 18, Kate Bills took the entrance exam to study nursing.

“I failed. I guess I just always thought I wasn’t smart enough,” she said. “I wasn’t very driven back then – I probably didn’t put in the effort I should have.”

But the ambition to be a nurse was something that never left her.

More than 3 decades later, she sat the test again.

And she passed.

“In my life, I’ve never really gone the extra mile for anything, except my kids and my husband,” she confessed. “But this time I went all out.”

She was the oldest in her class by a fair way, and the online learning was a challenge.

But with the help of BRHS Midwife Clinical Specialist, Louise Shanahan, Kate studied hard (“especially the maths”), and that hard work paid off when she passed the test, and went on to earn her Diploma of Nursing through Partners in Training.

For Kate, working on Rotamah Ward now as a nurse completes the circle of what has been a remarkable journey at BRHS.

Kate began on Rotamah Ward as a ward clerk back in 2000.

(“Back then the Nurse Unit Manager was Janet Moore. I remember her as being very ‘old school.’”)

In the 21 years since, her curiosity and eagerness to learn saw her continually expanding her healthcare career.

After getting her start as a ward clerk, Kate went on to become an Allied Health Assistant, spent some time with the Sterilisation team, and worked for a while with Intake.

Now, she’s a nurse.

Talking with Kate in the Rotamah team room recently, the overwhelming sense you get from her is one of gratitude – for the other nurses and staff that continue to help her on the job, and for her husband for being incredibly supportive.

“He’s very proud,” she says, her face beaming. “He’s always saying ‘you look great in those scrubs.’ He helped me a lot when I was studying and working – he’d cook dinner and make sure I had time to study.”

Kate says returning to the ward where she started as a ward clerk years ago was “like coming back to family.”

“The comradeship here is amazing,” she said. “We’re all here for the same reason – to provide care and support to patients and family.”

“I’ve always looked at nurses and thought ‘wow, they are amazing.’ Now, to be called a nurse myself is just incredible.”

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