New nurse gives Enliven the thumbs up

After growing tired of working in the hospitality industry, Ronelle Roach-Stevens turned to aged care, and she loves it. 

Ronelle’s career change saw her work in a variety of roles at Enliven’s Palmerston North homes while completing her nurses training. 

She is now completing Enliven’s First Year of Practice Programme at Brightwater Home, after finishing a Master of Clinical Practice at Massey University.

She says the Enliven programme, which sees her mentored by trained preceptors, can be testing, but she has great support around her.  

“It’s full on but good, it’s a very supportive environment. If anything presents itself that you are not 100 per cent sure how to deal with, there will always be someone there to help and guide you while you find your confidence.” 

Before becoming a registered nurse, Ronelle spent six years at Willard Home, Enliven’s other Palmerston North home.   

She started there as a service worker in the kitchen before changing to the recreation team and then moving into a health care assistant role while she completed her study to become a registered nurse. 

Her experience moving through different roles means she can put herself in the shoes of others and support them. She knows how complicated a shift as a health care assistant can be and how a good recreation programme can contribute to a resident’s wellbeing. 

One reason she chose to work in aged care, in particular for Enliven, was the variety of the job. She says Enliven takes a holistic approach to care, which means her job is not just about clinical care but also providing support that isn’t strictly medical.  

“No day is the same, every single day there is something different. Having to look at the bigger picture that is so much more than the medical stuff makes it a very varied environment to work in.” 

She is grateful for the support she has received from Enliven, both while studying and with on-the-job training, and she has ambitions to do further study. 

For her masters she did research on dementia care and wants to one day look deeper into the subject in the form of a PhD. 

“I have always been interested in dementia care because it is still an area that is misunderstood,” she says. “It is not an easy area to work in and I think a lot of that comes from the fact we don’t know that much about it yet.” 

Outside of work she likes to travel and experience new cultures with her husband and two children. She also likes to travel back to South Africa, a special place in her heart, where she spent the first 19 years of her life. 

Covid-19 put a halt to some of her travelling, but she is excited to be able to travel internationally again and says Enliven has always been flexible in allowing for this. 

“Enliven has been amazing, both supporting what I wanted to do but they are also really good at ensuring their staff have a good work-life balance.” 

Enliven Central’s commitment to its staff and residents was recognised at the 2022 New Zealand Aged Care Association Excellence in Care Awards where Enliven took out the Training and Staff Development Award and the Overall Excellence in Aged Care Award. For more information about this recognition and what is means for Enliven’s professional development programme click here.  

Enliven is always on the lookout for great people to join the team. For more information about a career with Enliven visit our careers page.

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