Meet the Valedictorian: Q&A with Bachelor of Nursing Graduate Katie Vidler

Katie Vidler
Bachelor of Bachelor of Nursing valedictorian

What inspired you to study Nursing at UQ?

I started off studying Engineering at UQ due to a love of science and maths. When the pandemic hit, however, it felt like all I would ever see on the news was how bad the situation was and how desperately they needed nursing staff. I’ve always been really involved in my community, and I found myself in a position where I could choose to actively help and contribute during a time of need through a degree in healthcare, and I took it.

What has been your most memorable moment at UQ?

My most memorable moment was probably going to Charleville for a remote placement. I was out there for two and half months in this little town of less than 4,000 people and it was such a unique experience. I was sharing accommodation with many other lovely students and was able to participate in my community in ways I had never even considered before. The hospital staff were amazing and the clinical skills I was able to learn are probably the foundation for most of my nursing knowledge.

How did you manage to balance your study, work, and other extracurricular activities?

I found that trying to stick to one, rigid schedule can be incredibly difficult, especially with how erratic nursing shifts can be. For me what helped the best was using just using a basic calendar app. As soon as anything came up, whether that be a work or placement shift, a volleyball match, or an assignment, I would immediately put it into the calendar and set a reminder for it. This helped me to organise my days better and to make sure that I didn’t double-book.

What drove you to become such a high achiever?

I would say that a lot of my motivation comes from wanting to make my family proud. My father and sister have been nothing but supportive throughout my entire degree, and I really wanted to show them that their support meant something to me.

What are you most passionate about?

Through completing my placements, I have found a deep passion for rural and remote nursing. I love the independence it allows and the uniqueness of the experience in itself. You find yourself far more involved with your community and are able to take the time to connect with your patients better, and I believe that’s such an important element of nursing.

What do you believe it takes to become valedictorian?

I will be honest and say that I never set out to be the valedictorian. I ended up at this point by focusing on one step at a time. For me, concentrating too hard on the big picture made me lose track of my smaller adventures and eventually, I would go off track altogether. I think to become a valedictorian, it takes somebody who is willing to go at their own speed and do the best that they can at each point.

What does being awarded Valedictorian mean to you?

To me, this award acts as a testament not only to the amount of effort and dedication I have put into my degree but also to that of my family and friends who have supported me these past few years. It is one of my greatest achievements, and considering how amazing and accomplished my nursing cohort has been throughout, it is such an honour to have been chosen as their representative.

What advice would you give future UQ students?

I would recommend taking the opportunity to go rural, remote, or to go on exchange if your program allows it. It is an amazing experience, both in terms of education and personal development, and will allow you a better perspective of your future role and what there is to look forward to. The world is a large and amazing place, and if your UQ gives you the chance to explore, why not take it?

What’s next for you after graduation?

I have been lucky enough to have secured a position at Mt Isa Hospital as a graduate registered nurse. Within this position, I will be able to rotate around multiple hospital wards and work with members of the multidisciplinary team who specialise in remote healthcare. I am very excited about this experience and look forward to all the new learning opportunities I will come across!

Learn more about UQ's Bachelor of Nursing.
Last updated:
11 December 2023