SCU to add 70 nursing places

SOUTHERN Cross University (SCU) has announced 70 new nursing places will be available from next year.

Director of education at the Northern Rivers University Department of Rural Health (UDRH), Sue Page, welcomed the announcement, saying local student nursing places were the best way to get nurses to stay in the area.

The UDRH collaboration involves SCU and Sydney University.

Dr Page said SCU nursing students were involved in 'cutting edge models of care'.

Last year, nursing students were involved in a pilot training program where they were able to do a placement at six general practice clinics in the Northern Rivers area.

“Nursing students are placed in a variety of settings. There are enormous workforce needs and opportunities here,” Dr Page said.

“Nurses don't just change bedpans. They are a highly skilled, highly trained sector of the work force. In the past it has been seen as a second-class profession to medicine, but that is changing. The medical profession is more comfortable with seeing them as colleagues.”

The head of the School of Health and Human Sciences at SCU, Professor Iain Graham, said the additional 50 Bachelor of Nursing places and 20 in postgraduate education in mental health would provide increased opportunities for students across region.

The places are funded from the Federal Government's health and hospitals reform initiative.



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