Blair Teffer is the recipient of the HESTA Future Nurse Leader Scholarship.
For Blair Teffer, nursing has been a true calling. When she left high school, Blair had every intention of in studying fashion design until her father became very unwell. “My dad required a lot of medical treatment which was ongoing. He was constantly surrounded by nurses and this sparked a curiosity in me about their role in his care,” says Blair.
“The thing that really intrigued me is that a career in nursing isn’t a regular desk job. There’s lots of interaction with people, you’re not restricted to working in a hospital and you can work anywhere in the world. That’s why I decided to do a degree in nursing.”
Blair is currently in her final year of her undergraduate degree at the University of Canberra (UC) and was recognised as a future nurse leader by HESTA for good reason. During her time there she has won four Dean’s Excellence Awards, become the secretary of the UC Nursing Society and has been involved in establishing the Inter-Professional Education Society to help prepare health students to work across multi-disciplinary teams.
Last year Blair worked as a student nurse in Tonga. “Being in Tonga gave me an empirical insight into the challenges patients of diverse backgrounds face when accessing healthcare,” says Blair. “I was so fortunate that I also got to help deliver a baby. It was an experience I’ll never forget.
“The HESTA Future Nurse Leader Scholarship will really help me to focus on my studies, and spend time with my family,” says Blair. “I never saw myself as a leader prior to getting this scholarship. This award has given me confidence and motivated me to use my final semester to develop my leadership skills,” says Blair.
“Thank you to HESTA for awarding me the scholarship. It was a surprise when I found out. I’m just so grateful that I received such a generous award.”
The future of nursing
“I have an interest in Emergency Nursing because it requires critical thinking on the spot. I’m hoping that’s where my next placement will be,” says Blair. She also hopes to be accepted onto the new graduate program next year, to see where it takes her. “You never know what you’ll come to love professionally in nursing, there’s a lot to explore. I want to say open minded.”
For Blair, the best part about a career in nursing is the people. “I’m so passionate about meeting people from all walks of life. One of the great things about nursing is learning about who the people are that I’m caring for. It’s such a privilege just to know their stories,” says Blair. “I imagine that even if you’ve been in the career for years, you still get to learn something new every day.”