Diploma of Nursing commences

Students from Ararat and the wider region are now studying for their Diploma of Nursing through a collaboration between East Grampians Health Service and Australian Catholic University.

The majority of the 28 students are from Ararat and the Ararat region (19 students), but also come from the Stawell (seven) and Horsham (two) areas.

Classes are being held at the Pyrenees House Education Centre at EGHS.

ACUcom’s Diploma of Nursing is an 18-month course where on successful completion the graduates are entitled to register as Endorsed Enrolled Nurses. The ‘endorsed’ title means they are qualified to administer medications and manage intravenous therapy.

ACUcom commenced the course in Ballarat in 2015 for the first time, having previously been conducted only on the Melbourne campus.

East Grampians Health Service chief executive Nick Bush said the nursing workforce shortage across regional Victoria, including in Ararat, meant that new ways of attracting nurses to work in regional areas had to be developed.

“By having the Diploma of Nursing training onsite at EGHS meant that we attracted local students, who hopefully at the completion of their course will want to stay and work in Ararat,” Mr Bush said.

“The students are also benefiting as they are training in their home town, or at least close by, with no need to move to Ballarat or Melbourne for study, and all the expense that entails.

“It has proven beneficial for both younger students and older students who may have families or other employment – having local opportunities for training means we keep people in the local area.”

The full time course sees students attending classes four days per week.

The theoretical component covers a wide range of health topics from aged care to mental health and acute care. To complement the theoretical component the students complete 10 weeks of clinical placements including aged care and acute care.

EGHS has worked closely with ACUcom to ensure the course proceeds smoothly.

Classroom trainers have been provided by EGHS to teach the various theoretical units and are also assisting in providing the quality learning experiences the students will utilise for clinical placement.

The course is accredited by the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Council and successful graduates will register with the Australian Health Practitioners Registering Authority.

“Running this program is essential to providing a workforce at EGHS now and into the future,” Mr Bush said.

“Working at EGHS also provides many fulfilling and rewarding opportunities – a nursing qualification and progression to a wonderful career.”