HELPING care for her grandmother helped Leeton's Erica Preston fully commit to the idea of becoming a nurse.
It was in year 11 and 12 when she was first introduced to the thought of becoming a nurse when she had to decide where she would undertake work experience.
"At that time I was also helping to look after my grandma at the time ... she sort of inspired me I guess," Miss Preston said.
The Leeton Public School and St Francis College alumni studied her certificate in aged care through TAFE in Narrandera at the completion of her schooling.
She then took up a position as an assistant in nursing at Leeton's Assumption Villa before travelling to various places throughout Queensland with her partner, whose job required him to work in several different areas.
"We've come home to Leeton now, this is where all of our family are, and I've just started at Carramar this week," Miss Preston said.
"I'm loving it so far.
"Everyone is really happy to show me around and help me out."
Now that she's settled back at home, Miss Preston plans to become an enrolled nurse through further TAFE study next year.
"I've been wanting to do that for a while, but I just haven't been in the right place to do it, so hopefully next year I'll be able to get stuck into that," she said.
Having worked in aged care, Miss Preston said the best part of her role on a daily basis was making a difference in someone's life.
"Just making someone smile or having a chat with them ... it's nice to see when the residents are happy," she said.
"It's definitely hard when someone passes away or when they are having a bad day, but you just do your best."
Still young herself, Miss Preston would like to see more students coming out of school to consider nursing as a career.
She said it was a job that had endless possibilities and she was looking forward to exploring those throughout her career.
"I don't think people should be scared by the idea of nursing, there's lots of support out there," Miss Preston said.
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