From caregiver to nurse with the help of a Bupa Scholarship


The past three years at Bupa Stokeswood Care Home in Stokes Valley has flown by for Registered Nurse Mere Rawalai and she says her days of intense nursing study seem like a distant memory.

Originally from Fiji, Mere moved to New Zealand when she was just 16, where she became a kitchen hand at Fergusson Care Home. Her mum was a caregiver at the care home and after seeing how well her mother handled the residents, she moved from the kitchen to a caregiving role in the dementia community.

After being noticed by her care home manager for her positive attitude and emerging skills, she was encouraged to go for the Nursing Degree and apply for the Bupa Scholarship to assist her with the opportunity.

“It was a pretty intense three years of studying nursing, but in that time the Bupa Scholarship really did help a lot, especially with buying all the text books I needed for the course,” she says.

During her studies, the 27 year old was able to stay as a casual caregiver that helped to keep her practical skills too. Now as a Registered Nurse, Mere says good nurses need to show a variety of skills every day including a lot of patience and a willingness to continually improve and develop.

“Creating a rapport with families is also very important. You’ve got a lot of different characters and personalities coming through a care home and a lot of different family dynamics as well. You almost have to adapt to the various situations.”

Mere says something that hasn’t changed over her years of experience is her positive attitude and her willingness to always advocate for her residents.

“The focus with my residents is to always do my absolute best in caring for them.”