In the last few weeks before heading back to Tonga, Netane’s aunty (who was a nurse at the time) offered to pay for his tuition to study nursing, and because he had no other plans in place, he decided to stay and take her up on her offer – even though he did have some initial doubts.

“The reason why I did not really consider or even think about nursing when I was in high school is that being a nurse was seen as a female job and not for males. Often males who consider nursing are made fun of by the other students! So it wasn’t until I studied nursing myself that I realised it is not only for females – it is suitable for males too. My view is that if we have male and female clients, why can’t we have male and female nurses?”

So after studying at Unitec for three and a half years to gain his Bachelor of Nursing, Netane is now working as a registered nurse and has never once regretted his choice.

“I enjoy being able to support my family financially as this is really important to me. But I also really love making a difference in the lives of my clients by applying my knowledge. It’s a great feeling to help and care for people and make them smile.”

As a registered nurse, Netane says the main skill he has learnt so far is about leadership, as being a good team leader to a group of staff is absolutely vital. The other important abilities that he uses on a daily basis are time management, empathy and sympathy, great medical and clinical practice skills, great people skills, and great communication skills.

“I also need to be a helpful advocator and a great councillor.”

Netane knows he is lucky that he has found himself a rewarding career – especially since he was someone who never thought he would be a nurse. While there were ups and downs, he says that when you do get to the end of your studies and graduate, you will not be disappointed.

“Of course, this is easy for me to say and maybe you won’t believe me till you get there yourself.”


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