Aspiring nurses can stay local thanks to CQUniversity and Western District Health Service partnership

CLiaison's picture October 7, 2017


Pictured: WDHS chief executive Rohan Fitzgerald, Melissa Gardner, Keely Bell and Lorraine Hedley.

Flexible Bachelor of Nursing program means students can study and complete placements in their own communities

Students in the Southern Grampians and Glenelg Shires can look forward to healthier career prospects, with a new partnership set to boost local pathways into Nursing.

The agreement between Western District Health Service (WDHS) and CQUniversity (Central Queensland University) will deliver an innovative pilot program to attract locals to study a Bachelor of Nursing.

Under the agreement, WDHS will offer 10 student placements in the Bachelor of Nursing program in 2018. Students living in the Southern Grampians and Glenelg Shires will be given preference for the placements, ensuring the skills developed are staying in the local community.

WDHS Chief Executive, Rohan Fitzgerald says the new partnership will create more educational and employment opportunities for local people and support WDHS to develop and retain its local workforce.

“This exciting new program is designed to support rural people to access high quality education and career opportunities close to home.

It also allows current staff the flexibility to study and complete their clinical placements in Hamilton, while continuing to work at WDHS.

The partnership will also see two newly-registered Endorsed Enrolled Nurses, and any currently employed Endorsed Enrolled Nurses, supported by WDHS to commence their Bachelor of Nursing, with their previous study giving them a fast-track into the second-year of the degree,” Mr Fitzgerald said.

CQUniversity Associate Vice-Chancellor (Victoria), Lara Carton said the partnership aims to empower regional young people to pursue their careers in health while maintaining connections with family, community and work opportunities.

“CQUniversity is renowned for the quality of its flexible, off-campus study options, and hundreds of aspiring nurses complete their degree with us via distance education every year.

“When a student is considering a career in health care, knowing they’ll be able to do their mandatory work placements in their local community is a great incentive to get started, and it improves their employment opportunities once they graduate, too,” Ms Carton said.

School leavers and non-school leavers (such as TAFE-qualified students or students who complete CQUniversity’s STEPS bridging course) can enrol in the Bachelor of Nursing through Victorian Tertiary Admissions Centre, and can take on the three-year program by flexible distance education.

CQUniversity’s Bachelor of Nursing is accredited by the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia, and the program has a proven record of engaging distance education students, and supporting them to graduate and gain employment.

The three-year program is also available part-time over six years, and includes some mandatory residential workshops, as well as clinical placements. 

 CQUniversity will also offer a Start Uni Now (SUN) program, allowing local students to launch their nursing career by completing four subjects in years 11 and 12 as part of their nursing degree.