Bachelor of Nursing students can now apply for supported clinical placements in aged care through the federal government’s new Aged Care Nursing Clinical Placements Program.
The program involves clinical facilitators providing specialist support to nursing students, who must complete a minimum of 800 hours of clinical placement as part of their courses, while they are on placement in aged care. In allowing nursing students to experience the rewarding professional and personal opportunities available in aged care early on in their careers, the program hopes to inspire the next generation of nurses to work in the sector.
The government has contracted five organisations to deliver the program nationally, including the Australian Primary Health Care Nurses Association (APNA).
APNA believes its nursing student clinical placement aged care program will ultimately help the sector meet a raft of new aged care reforms, including having registered nurses onsite and on duty 24 hours per day 7 days per week, and mandated care minutes, by helping to create a new sustainable pipeline of nurses to help fill staff shortages.
Its program has two components:
- The delivery of high-quality clinical placement experiences in aged care for 1800 second- and third-year nursing students.
- The development and hosting of an online aged care knowledge hub to provide all nursing students, clinical facilitators, and placement providers with resources to support quality placement experiences.
All nursing students and aged care workers are encouraged to access the Aged Care Knowledge Hub, which provides free resources to help students on placement and anyone with an interest in the aged care sector.
“Great residential aged care needs great aged care nurses. And that starts with giving nursing students a positive aged care placement during their studies,” APNA President, Karen Booth, said.
“APNA’s aged care student nurse placement program is designed to bring through the next generation of qualified and experienced registered aged care nurses.
“[The] program is unique in that it employs its own clinical nurse facilitators, supports higher-level clinical skills development, and provides customised student learning experiences to meet the requirements and curriculums of individual learning institutions.
“Aged care nurses and their teams have so much to offer the future nursing workforce. The program offers a wraparound support for students and facilitates contribution of the aged care nurses by managing the teaching load.”
Find out more about the program here