Extra support for nursing students
Federation University Australia will offer Bachelor of Nursing students more face-to-face classes in Horsham from next year.
The university’s nursing academic staff from Ballarat will run intensive learning blocks once a semester at the Wimmera campus.
The learning blocks will focus on the practical and clinical elements for first and second-year Bachelor of Nursing students.
University leaders have made the move as part of a commitment to students and as a response to concerns about health-sector workforce shortages in the Wimmera and southern Mallee.
Professor of Nursing Mary Cruikshank said the university was delighted to provide new arrangements to nursing students in Horsham.
“The university is firmly committed to western Victoria and its students,” she said.
“Many of our Wimmera nursing students previously had to travel to Ballarat to attend all blocks of learning throughout the three-year program.
“From February we will be bringing the practical and related theory aspects of the program to the first and second-year students.
“This will greatly reduce travel for students who are studying remotely and allow them to spend more time with their families. There is a very strong need for nursing and health care across the Wimmera and the university is working hard to address this challenge.”
Senior lecturer Dr Blake Peck said the changes would also significantly help hospitals and businesses in the region.
“Feduni will continue to be a strong supporter of Wimmera jobs and industry,” he said.
Third-year students will still be required to attend the university’s Mt Helen Campus in Ballarat to access specialised equipment and facilities.
Wimmera Development Association executive director Ralph Kenyon welcomed and supported the university’s changes.
“This fresh approach to teaching and assisting nursing students locally will have a positive impact on the students, local health services and wider community,” he said.
Wimmera Health Care Group chief executive Catherine Morley also welcomed the announcement.