Ben Scanlon

Ben Scanlon

For Bachelor of Nursing graduate Ben Scanlon, nursing is more than a profession; it’s a deep sense of compassion and desire to address healthcare disparities.

Registered Nurse at Tui Medical, Rototuna


Kirkman Prize for Outstanding Clinical Practice (2023)

Ben Scanlon

With his late father a doctor and his mum a nurse, health care and medicine run in the family.

“I had a passion for community service and knew I wanted to do something that positively impacts vulnerable communities,” says Ben, who gave basic first aid in the slums of Cambodia during a high school field trip in 2019.

“I believe in standing up for those who are vulnerable, who perhaps feel like they don't have a voice and those who need extra support to succeed. That kind of thing starts from the way you choose to place yourself within society and how you can impact others in your role.”

Ben was part of the first cohort of nursing students to graduate from the University of Waikato, along with over 60 others, who are now all working as registered nurses.

“It’s great that some barriers to entering the course have been broken down and that people are getting an opportunity to gain a nursing qualification. It’s been special to be part of this first graduating group and to have navigated the journey to make history together,” says Ben, who is now working at Hamilton’s Tui Medical in general practice and urgent care.”

The first Nursing School in 20 years after the last entirely new programme was launched two decades ago in Auckland, Ben says the programme is taught holistically with an emphasis on equity, mental health and addictions and Māori and Pacific health.

“As a nurse, I can impact people in the most vulnerable times of their life and I am motivated to push a positive impact through my actions as a nurse, by being a part of communities that need that way of thinking to thrive.”

Ben was born and raised in Hamilton and has lived there most of his life.  He said he had a gut feeling that the University of Waikato was right for him and was sold on the emphasis on more hands-on clinical hours in the University’s nursing degree course.

He says a highlight of the degree so far has been applied health sciences.

“I’ve really enjoyed it, despite it being the hardest class for me. It has given me an appreciation for just how complex the human body is.

“It’s been a journey; the people, the students and the staff that have fought for us all the way. The support I received throughout my studies at Waikato was second to none.”

Ben Scanlon