Sala's story

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Sala Eastwood - Registered Nurse

Graduate of Bachelor of Nursing Pacific

What inspired you to study Pacific nursing?

I used to be a stay-at-home mum until unfortunately my husband got bowel cancer in 2013. I realised if something were to happen to him, I would have no one to support me and our four children. I decided I wanted a career of my own that I would enjoy and could still do at the age of 60 or 70.

When I looked into nursing and saw Whitireia offered a Bachelor of Nursing Pacific, I knew it would be a great opportunity to reconnect with my culture. Being able to study in an environment with people like me made all the difference.

Thankfully, my husband came out of remission and I began my studies, and I’ve not looked back since!


What was your study experience like at Whitireia?

The support I got was what got me through. The tutors were really approachable and understanding of my needs, like if my children were sick and I needed to leave class. There were a lot of strong-minded individuals in my class, but it kept the passion alive and created a real sense of community.

I also got a lot of support from the Pacific Team; they went above and beyond to advocate for students' needs and had an open-door policy to anyone that wanted to have a chat.

Explore our Pacific Student Support 

We are committed to supporting Pacific ākonga and their academic success. We have dedicated spaces, networks, and a strong Pacific team who work across multiple campuses to help Pacific ākonga succeed. 

Tell us about your role now

I’m a Registered Nurse at Hutt Hospital working in the Emergency Department. I work in a challenging and sometimes unpredictable space but it’s also really rewarding. Seeing the smile on a patient’s face when you care for them and seeing them walk out healthy is a huge relief.

I was also the first Pacific person to join the ED team in five years. Being able to connect with other Pacific Islanders and care for them in a way that is culturally safe is what fills my cup.


What did you learn at Whitireia that helps you in your role today?

There are all the obvious clinical skills but also communication; in my job my ability to communicate effectively is central to completing all my other tasks successfully. I also have to communicate with diverse groups of people daily so having those skills is really important.


What would you say to someone considering studying Pacific nursing?

It’s not easy, but it’s worth it.

Study Nursing at Whitireia

Launch your nursing career with a qualification from Whitireia. Learn how to improve health outcomes for Māori, Pacific and the wider community. Be the person whom the public most value and trust while they undergo personal and challenging health journeys. 

We have three Bachelor of Nursing Degrees on offer, the Bachelor of Nursing, Bachelor of Nursing Māori and Bachelor of Nursing Pacific.

Check out all our nursing programmes →

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