Tamworth's Jessica jags runner-up honour

LOCAL student Jessica Taggart has been named the runner-up Australian School-based Apprentice of the Year, topping off a year of achievement.

Miss Taggart was awarded the honour at the 2012 Australian Training Awards in Melbourne on Friday, with South Australian agriculture apprentice Alistair Keller taking out the top honour.

“I’m ecstatic, I’m just so humbled and so honoured to be part of it,” Miss Taggart said.

She has just finished studying a certificate III in health services assistance, as well as her Higher School Certificate at Tamworth High School.

While undertaking her vocational training Miss Taggart also worked with the nurses at Tamworth hospital.

This year she had already been named the NSW School-based Trainee of the Year and had won the same award for the New England region.

Armidale TAFE head teacher of nursing, Amanda Dooner, said Miss Taggart’s “amazing achievement” on Friday was the result of her hard work and commitment to her studies.

“She’s going to go very far,” Mrs Dooner said.

“She’s extremely bright and talented and a fantastic nurse.”

Mrs Dooner said the New England Institute of TAFE was “extremely proud” of her.

Miss Taggart will continue working at Tamworth hospital until December, and then hopes to study nursing at university to become a registered nurse.

Following university, Miss Taggart wants to work for a few years before returning to university to become a nurse practitioner, which would allow her to open her own practice and provide services to rural and remote communities.

Miss Taggart said she was inspired to aim for a career in health because of her younger sister, who was born with a congenital heart disease.

She said it was an area she had a natural inclination for.

“I had a feel for it and I went with my heart,” she said.

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