For the past 18 years, Cathy Maginnis has shared her passion for nursing with CSU students. A well-known face around CSU’s Dubbo Campus, Cathy says she loves being a nurse and educating students to become proud nursing professionals.
Passion for 'growing your own'
What’s your background, and how did you come to work at CSU? I am a Registered Nurse and a Registered Midwife with a Graduate Certificate in Child and Adolescent Health. I had been working casually as a clinical facilitator and a child and family health nurse in both NSW and Queensland. I started working casually for CSU as a clinical facilitator, tutor, marker and casual lecturer while undertaking my Master of Health Science (Nursing) with CSU. I was then successful in gaining a permanent role at the Dubbo Campus as a lecturer. I have always worked as a RN/RM casually while working as a nursing lecturer as I like the balance this gives me and it maintains my currency as a Registered Nurse and Midwife. What is your best CSU experience? Taking nursing students on an international work placement to Thailand to provide health care in remote areas. I have been fortunate to do this for the past two years and find it an amazing experience. It is a humbling experience to provide basic nursing care and deliver health education to people living and working in such different conditions. It changes your perspective and broadens your views and practice. What has made you stay at CSU for such a long time? I am passionate about nursing and enjoy teaching and sharing my knowledge and experience. I am also passionate about 'growing our own', and providing high quality education to people in rural and remote areas and empowering them to learn and achieve their goals. How would you describe the calibre of CSU’s graduates? High. We produce great nursing graduates that often work in areas where there are shortages within the workforce and skill mix. I feel confident that they are able to provide great nursing care based on their knowledge and skills gained in the course. Do you stay in touch with graduates of your course? Yes, we often hear from our Dubbo graduates and the students that have come to Thailand with me keep in touch to let me know what they are doing. It is lovely to hear where they are working and what they are doing. Many go on to do specialty courses and Masters. What have your students taught you over the years? We are privileged to deliver babies (if you become a midwife), to deliver care when people die and the full spectrum in between. As a lecturer, the students keep you grounded by challenging you, and I encourage them to think critically. They teach me to explore how to deliver good quality education in different ways and to use a range of strategies to meet their differing learning needs. Their enthusiasm is great motivation. Why are you passionate about what you do? I love being a nurse and being able to teach nursing. I enjoy seeing the students’ progress from first session in first year to final session and graduation. A highlight for me each year is when students walk across the stage at graduation. Each has a story that has gone with them and many face numerous hurdles and overcome them to achieve their goals. I feel fortunate to contribute to their journey to becoming a nurse. One last thing... I enjoy being a nursing lecturer and never in my wildest dreams did I imagine this would be my career path. I find this role very rewarding as well as frustrating and challenging at times. I am lucky to work at a rural campus in a lovely setting with colleagues who are supportive and great to work with.