Turning a naturopathy passion into a naturopath career

Starting naturopath career

To help guide the way, we sit down with Nicola Miethke, a budding naturopath and clinical nutritionist who opened her clinic after graduating from the Australian College of National Therapy.

Spotlight on Nicola Miethke, a rising star in Naturopathy and Nutrition

We all know the age-old saying.

Choose a job you love, and you will never work a day in your life.

But putting this in practice is not as easy as it sounds, and most struggle with finding a job and career path they are truly passionate about.

Nicola Miethke is an exception. Nicola is a proud alumni of the Australasian College of Natural Therapy (ACNT), now part of Torrens University Australia, with a degree in Bachelor of Health Science (Naturopathy).

Nicola, tell us about yourself. What inspires you?

I love what I do. I did a Bachelor of Health Science in Naturopathy at ACNT, and now I’m a clinical naturopath. What inspires me is helping people, and my ultimate goal is to find a way of reaching the masses with education about health and well-being.

I have a particular passion for women’s health. I’m really motivated to reach women and help them become educated and empowered to be as healthy as they can be before they start having children, so that future generations are much happier and healthier too! There’s still so much work that can be done in preparing women better and I’m incredibly happy to be a part of that journey.

I love what I do – at the end of the day, I feel purpose and meaning. We give everything we’ve got, our heart and soul to every client, and it’s very rewarding.

Have you always dreamed of a Naturopath career?

I really didn’t know what I wanted to pursue in terms of my career for a long time. I originally started off in a Bachelor of Business – but it was my own health journey that got me to understand more about the natural health industry and that’s what sparked my interest in actually pursuing health as a career.

Food has always been a passion for me, but I used to love it in a very different way than I do now. You could say I even wanted to own a restaurant when I was younger. With time, I started having an interest in the role that food plays in our lives and I really wanted to understand the power and impact that food can make on our health. So my mindset completely shifted to not just enjoying food but also using it to become healthier and help others achieve the same.

This was what led me to see a naturopath, which gave me a greater awareness of Western Herbal Medicine. Through this experience, I really saw how incredible naturopathy could be – by helping people in a different way, a more expansive way, and a more natural way.

I really saw how incredible naturopathy could be – by helping people in a different way, a more expansive way, and a more natural way.

It seems you had an interest in both Nutrition and Naturopathy, how did you decide what to study?

I actually did both! As a more mature-age student, more mature than the traditional school leaver anyway, I was scared to start a 4-year Naturopathy degree – it’s a really long time! I think I was always interested in Naturopathy and wanted to get there as my end goal – but I felt that it would be easier to start off with an Advanced Diploma in Nutritional Medicine first, which meant that I could at least get a qualification after 2 years and reassess whether I wanted to continue studying Naturopathy.

After my Advanced Diploma, I still felt I didn’t quite have the tools to make a difference, so I decided to do a Bachelor of Naturopathy as well. And here I am.

It can be a big step, going back to study after you’ve already graduated in another field. Tell us about the very moment you decided to leave your old life behind and start studying again. How did you feel?

The difference, and what really daunted me, came from coming into a degree as an older student – I was going to be studying at a stage when none of my friends are. It really is a big step and when you decide this is what you want to do – everything is so much more rewarding. I felt deeply motivated to find a path that I was passionate about, and that was to help people and make a difference.

What were your thought process, and concerns and how did you eventually decide to pursue this new path?

I did my research, I googled Naturopathy and Naturopathy qualifications and ACNT was one of the leading schools that offered the course. And I felt that after all my research, ACNT was the college that gave a more scientific and academic vibe than any other, and I am far more a scientific naturopath than a traditional naturopath. I really wanted an evidence-based learning experience, as well as a well-rounded learning experience, so it was the natural choice for me.

After that, I went to a Health Open Day – which is a great opportunity for anyone considering studying Nutrition or Natural Therapies to find out more about the courses, learning experience, and support network – and see if it’s right for them.

I met one of my lecturers at Open Day ;and she was very inspiring. The knowledge that she had was mind-blowing! Meeting academics that are all practitioners makes such a difference as they know how theory is applied in the industry, and that is what also makes us as graduates stand out.

Being immersed in the campus and meet lecturers, alumni and real students at Open Day painted a picture of my future – and this helped me decide that this was what I wanted to do. I was also lucky enough to have really supportive friends and family to talk to about my decision to go back to study.

Naturopath clinic

What did you hope to achieve from studying Naturopathy and Nutrition and do you feel you achieved your goals?

I just knew that I wanted to help people, and studying at ACNT gave me access to a community that was equally as passionate. The relationships I have built with colleagues and teachers were invaluable. Because all the academics are real practitioners who are in the thick of the industry, they become amazing mentors and huge advocates for someone who has just graduated and wants to break into the industry. From the minute I graduated, I had a great support network and felt like I was already part of the industry with them.

My experience has definitely exceeded expectations – learning directly in the clinic, and building relationships with academics who are immersed in the industry has to be hands down the most valuable experience. I was guided so well throughout my course that from the moment I graduated, I felt industry-ready.

ACNT has definitely helped me to achieve my goals. I’ve already set up my own clinic after graduating only a month ago! This is all due to the skills I’ve developed working with real clients in the campus clinic and the support network students get through academics who are real industry practitioners.

I found the whole experience very rewarding – because I put a lot of hard work into it – and it was all worth it. I learnt that no matter what your age, it’s never too late to pursue your passion. Dreams don’t wait. Neither should you.

What have you been up to since graduating and what is your proudest achievement?

ACNT really helped me get industry-ready so that I can open my dream practice.

My biggest and proudest achievement has to be opening my clinic. It is terrifying no matter how industry ready you might feel. I kind of just had this momentum when I finished with ACNT, after coming out of the clinic, seeing two patients a day, twice a week, for 12 weeks, as part of our coursework. It was like I had just come off a high, and you have this momentum that you want to carry on.

And that’s why I love this industry, it carries you with momentum, always educating and learning, never coming to standstill. It really is an ever-evolving industry, and because I thrive on change and I love learning – I love what I do.

If you are interested in a career in nutrition, naturopathy, herbal medicine, and clinical myotherapy, join us at our next Open Day to learn about our courses and see how we can help you pursue a rewarding career in health.

Check our Natural Therapy Courses to learn more
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