Boosting academic pathways for nurses

La Trobe University is helping to tackle predicted shortages of nurses over the next decade by bolstering its intake of TAFE qualified nurses.

The University has quadrupled its number of direct entry positions available to enrolled nurses (Diploma of Nursing) seeking to further their career as a Registered Nurse.

“Enrolled nurses are incredibly valued members of our workforce, and generally work with Registered Nurses, who practice independently,” Bachelor of Nursing Undergraduate Course Coordinator Dr Ian Mosley said.

“But until now, they’ve been restricted in their efforts to enter a Bachelor of Nursing Degree because of the limited number of university places available for enrolled nurses across Victoria.”

The Department of Health’s workforce projection study has forecasted a shortage of almost 110,000 nurses by 2025.

Dr Mosley said by increasing intake of enrolled nurses, La Trobe would continue to improve on its track record of generating highly employable graduates.

“These are prospective students who can hit the ground running; they have experienced the demands and complex challenges involved in caring people,” Dr Mosley said.

“The very fact that they are now wanting to progress their career demonstrates they are committed to the profession.”

Students at La Trobe’s Melbourne campus will have the opportunity of completing the course over 18 months and will be based at one of La Trobe’s four Clinical Schools (Austin, Alfred, Northern and Royal Melbourne Hospitals).

Director of Nursing Services and Education at Alfred Health Suzanne Metcalf said La Trobe’s Clinical Schools model had provided a fertile source of graduate nursing staff for more than a decade.

“Because this model of learning is embedded within our hospital, La Trobe nursing students here gain diverse and valuable real-world nursing experience in a variety of Alfred Health’s care settings,” Ms Metcalf said.

“I’m excited by the prospect of seeing more enrolled nurses develop their academic knowledge and strengthen their career prospects.”

To read more about the course, visit http://www.latrobe.edu.au/courses/feature/health/bachelor-nursing-enrolled-nurse-entry

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