PhD or Masters by Research Scholarship: Employment programs for nursing students

About the research degree project

PhD or Masters by Research Project: Formal programs for the employment of registered undergraduate nursing students

Develop an important evidence base to improve graduate workforce experiences

The Rosemary Bryant AO Research Centre (RBRC) at the University of South Australia – Australia’s University of Enterprise – is currently seeking applications for a dynamic research project in collaboration with our industry partner, Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (ANMF), Australia’s largest industrial and professional organisation for healthcare professionals. This project aims to develop a significant evidence base for better understanding the effectiveness, experience, and impact of formal programs for the employment of registered undergraduate nursing students.

Delivery of high-quality and sustainable health and aged care is a national and international priority. It relies on creating a more equitable distribution of the health workforce and being able to attract and retain a flexible and capable nursing workforce. Increasing demand and an ageing population are continuing pressures on the health and aged care system.

Global and national factors drive a greater focus on efficiencies. Building and maintaining a high-quality and sustainable health and aged care system is vital and developing more efficient and effective ways to deliver high quality, safe care is more important than ever. Alternative workforce models such as formal programs for the employment of registered undergraduate nursing students are strategies for addressing many issues in health and aged care, but there is a knowledge gap around the effectiveness and experience of these models.

This project will help you to guide the uptake, establishment, and coordination of formal programs for the employment of students; enhance the effectiveness of existing programs; and provide evidence to improve participant experiences.

What you’ll do

The successful candidate will undertake research to respond to questions such as:

  • How effective are formal programs on the employment of registered undergraduate student nurses?
  • What factors (i.e. barriers and facilitators) impact the effectiveness of the programs?
  • What are the experiences of the students and other stakeholders participating in the programs?

You will conduct a mixed-methods research study using a combination of qualitative interviews, focus groups and cross-sectional research.  Applicants based in South Australia will have the opportunity to travel between Victoria, where the student model is running, and South Australia.  Applicants may also be based in Victoria.  There will be opportunities to undertake placements at the ANMF Victoria Branch and Federal Office to better understand the role industries play in this model of employment, as well as ANMF’s focus on supporting better workforce policy and planning in nursing.

You will also have opportunities to build strong partnerships in the research, policy and professional community, and present your work at local, national and potentially international conferences, travel permitted.

This project will enable you to develop a strong understanding of how your research fits in with current national priorities regarding the attraction and retention of a highly skilled and well supported nursing workforce. As the project will be supervised and linked with Australia’s largest professional and industrial organisation for nurses, you will develop strong skills in communicating your work and findings to industry stakeholders, and in the development of high-quality policy briefings and reports.

Where you’ll be based

You will be based at the Rosemary Bryant AO Research Centre (RBRC) – a partnership between UniSA and the Rosemary Bryant Foundation – at UniSA’s vibrant City East Campus. The RBRC aims to strengthen the role of the nursing and midwifery profession across the health system through the development of a research-driven, evidence-based platform of healthcare.

The Centre has developed a comprehensive research program focused on advancing the nursing and midwifery disciplines, and patient care in the domains of population and public health, workforce reform, safety and quality, clinical practice, patient outcomes, and integration into education.

Supervisory Team

Dr Micah Peters – Principal Supervisor
Professor Marion Eckert – Co Supervisor
Dr Rebecca Sharp – Co Supervisor
Ms Belinda Clark – Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation, Victorian Branch

Financial Support

This project is funded for reasonable research expenses.  Additionally, a living allowance scholarship of $28,597 per annum is available to Australian and New Zealand citizens, and permanent residents of Australia, including permanent humanitarian visa holders.  A fee-offset or waiver for the standard term of the program is also included.  For full terms and benefits of the scholarship please refer to our scholarship information.

An additional top-up scholarship with a value of up to $5,000 per annum for a Masters student and up to $10,000 per annum for a PhD student, will be offered to the preferred applicant.  Additionally, where the preferred applicant will be based in Victoria the Victorian Branch of the ANMF have offered an additional one-off payment of $5,000.

Eligibility and Selection

This project is open to applications from Australian or New Zealand citizens, and Australian permanent residents or permanent humanitarian visa holders. International applicants are not invited to apply at this time.

Applicants must meet the eligibility criteria for entrance into a Masters by Research or a PhD.  Additionally, applicants must meet the projects selection criteria:

  • The candidate must be a registered nurse

Applicants who are a current member of the ANMF will be highly regarded.

All applications that meet the eligibility and selection criteria will be considered for this project. A merit selection process will be used to determine the successful candidate.

The successful applicant is expected to study full-time, and to be based at our City East campus in the heart of Adelaide, or alternatively in Victoria.

Essential Dates

Applicants are expected to start in a timely fashion upon receipt of an offer.  Extended deferral periods are not available.

Applications close 14 November, 2021


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