New nursing mid-year option helps build nursing workforce

New nursing mid-year option helps build nursing workforce

30 May 2008

La Trobe University has responded to the on-going and significant demand for nurses by opening up a mid-year entry pathway for its very successful Nursing Conversion Program, where Division 2 or Enrolled Nurses can upgrade their qualification to degree level, enabling them to gain registration as a Division 1 Registered Nurse.

Nanette Lundie, Associate Head of Nursing and Midwifery at the Albury-Wodonga campus believes the Conversion Program provides an excellent pathway for Division 2 nurses, whether they articulate directly across from Division 2 TAFE courses or are coming into the course after already working in local or regional hospitals.

"A significant number of our students come via this pathway, adding both experience and diversity to the student cohort. The mid-year entry option will give conversion students even better access to our degree program", added Ms Lundie.

Dr Amanda Kenny, Associate Director of Health Sciences at the Bendigo campus said La Trobe University is leading the way in developing innovative courses and strengthening pathways for students entering university.

"The Conversion program is an important strategy for the future health workforce as Division 2 nurses are already living and working in the community. By enabling them to upgrade their qualifications, you build a highly-skilled nursing workforce," Dr Kenny said.

"Current predictions indicate that without serious action the future nursing workforce will not meet rural and regional community demand. We have an ageing population, including our nursing workforce. The average age of nurses across rural and regional Australia now is close to 50 and some reports indicate that up to 80% of the rural nursing workforce will retire in the next 10 years," added Dr Kenny.

"We realise we have to be proactive in building our student numbers to cope with future community demand. It is well known that students who study at rural campuses are more likely to stay and work in rural communities, so we are taking steps to encourage future nurses to take a look at the excellent courses we offer at our Bendigo and Albury-Wodonga," Dr Kenny said.

Bendigo and Albury-Wodonga campuses will offer mid-year entry and an Information Evening will be held on June 12 at 5.30 pm at both campuses. Anyone considering nursing as a career or thinking about upgrading to a Division 1 is encouraged to attend to this informal evening session, which will also involve students currently undertaking the course. For further information about mid- year entry and the Information Evening, please call Nursing at the Albury-Wodonga campus on (02) 6024 9730.

To arrange an interview or for further information, please contact:

Reinhard Beissbarth
La Trobe University Albury-Wodonga
Phone: 02 6024 9874
Email: r.beissbarth@latrobe.edu.au

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