The Australian health service is changing rapidly. In New South Wales, there could soon be a critical shortage of nurses, with rising demand, for example from an aging population, fast outstripping supply. At the same time, there is a real need for nurses with a broad cultural and geographic understanding to help provide sensitive, effective care for a wide range of people from Australia’s increasingly diverse communities. In urban areas, there is a real need for nurses in particular specialist areas, whereas regional practices need nurses with broad skills who can work across multiple areas.
At the University of Wollongong, we are committed to growing the number of skilled nurses in Australia and strengthening our rural and regional workforce in NSW. Our School of Nursing has earned a proud reputation for excellence in nursing education, and our 1,500 student nurses train across six sites covering most of the southern half of NSW.
We know that practical, clinical learning opportunities are fundamental to developing the best nurses. Our Nursing Placements enable students to get this hands-on experience in a setting culturally and geographically different to their own. As a result, they are better able to adapt to diverse situations in order to give the best possible care to their patients.
We are establishing a comprehensive program of Clinical Placement Grants of $2,000 to give nursing undergraduates practical experience of diverse clinical settings. Our goal is for cost to be no barrier to our students as they develop with us. The financial support will enable many more trainee nurses to do a clinical placement away from their home region, regardless of their financial circumstances or family and child-care responsibilities.
The grants will mean that a nursing undergraduate studying at our campus in rural Bega, for example, could experience being a nurse in an urban setting in South Western Sydney. Similarly, a student in Sydney can discover what it means to care for patients in more regional areas, for example around Batemans Bay.
“Our mission is to develop nurses who will meet the needs of a range of communities by positively influencing healthcare practice.”
Professor Tracey Moroney, Head of School of Nursing
Our track record
- More than 6,000 nurses have graduated through the University of Wollongong since 1991.
- Our nursing graduates enjoy excellent employment prospects; 91.8% are in full-time employment within three months of graduating.
- Our School of Nursing is part of a regional clinical school partnership to improve clinical research and education in rural areas, a first for NSW.
- To train more nurses, we are soon opening the Western Sydney Nursing Education and Research Centre (WeNER) at our South Western Sydney Campus, a comprehensive nursing facility that will, over time, be on a similar scale to our existing School of Nursing at our Wollongong Campus.
- These grants will support nursing students from all backgrounds to experience a broader range of clinical settings, helping them to deliver better care when they graduate, make Australia’s diverse communities healthier, and meet the challenges of our changing health service.
- People of all ages and backgrounds, in rural and urban settings, will feel the difference in the improved and better targeted health care they receive.