TOP HONOUR: Sonya Wallace has been selected by the Australian College of Nursing from applicants across the country for the emerging nurse leaders award.
TOP HONOUR: Sonya Wallace has been selected by the Australian College of Nursing from applicants across the country for the emerging nurse leaders award. Warren Lynam

National honour for nursing student Sonya Wallace

IN THE next three years, Sonya Wallace will collect vital information on the nursing sector, to strengthen her studies and that of her peers.

The University of the Sunshine Coast second-year nursing science student has been named one of five emerging nurse leaders from across the country for 2014.

Next year, Ms Wallace will start the Australian College of Nursing's three-year program of professional development to support leadership skills in new nurses.

"It's three years of contact with other nurse leaders and mentoring, going to conferences," she said.

The first year is about self-awareness and understanding leadership style, the second year is about teamwork and the third year has a professional focus and goes out into the workplace.

"You get to shadow nurse leaders, and the Australian College of Nursing representatives," Ms Wallace said.

"It's a national focus, so you get that overview of the bigger picture of nursing, what new nurses can bring to it and how they can shape the future of nursing."

Ms Wallace, president of the USC nursing and midwifery student group, hopes to share her knowledge with her fellow students.

"It's about ongoing professional development and monitoring, and encouraging others to do what they can within their degree."

The mature-age student hopes to work in a hospital emergency department.

"Now is a good time (to enter the health industry), with the new hospital project on the Sunshine Coast and the growth in the region's health industry," she said.


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