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Second year Southern Cross University nursing student Abby Loiterton is driven by a will to return and assist the community who’ve helped her achieve, especially when she was one of just nine students studying the Higher School’s Certificate at Lightning Ridge Central School.

Even contemplating studying at SCU Coffs Harbour – seven hours from Lightning Ridge – was a big move for Abby. She is a family-orientated person, who’s proud of her community. Going away to study is to equip her with an education so she can come home and help in her own way.

“I know how hard health services struggle to find staff out in Lightning Ridge. Health services are pretty limited out home and they often struggle to keep doctors and nurses for longer periods,” she said.

“I would love to make a difference to try and encourage people to consider remote locations when looking to work in healthcare when there is the opportunity. It’s really hard to watch our community struggle with the lack of health services that we currently have.

“I see my rural nursing career going well as they are always screaming out for doctors and nurses in rural and remote places like Lightning Ridge.”

Like with anything in life, doing well at university is all about balance.

Getting out of her apartment, exercising, being social and working are all part of her time management that ensures she’s not too stressed to study.

“Always prioritise university tasks and don’t leave them until the last minute as it will be leave you feeling very overwhelmed and unable to pay full attention to other aspects of life such as work, exercise, healthy eating and sleeping habits and health overall,” Abby said.

“My wellbeing balance consists of participating in physical activity and having a healthy diet as well as a healthy work/study balance. For me, physical activity and health go hand in hand with focus and academic achievements. If I don’t have my balance I tend to struggle with study and workload. Having a good study/life balance lowers my stress levels and makes me feel really motivated.”

Abby has been supported with CEF Walgett grants in 2019 and 2020, and was awarded the Jimmy Little Foundation scholarship in 2019.