CQUni addresses concern over state nurse shortage
Published on 13 July, 2012
CQUniversity is doing its part to inject more nurses into the state health system with a new online course aimed at retraining registered nurses.
According to the Queensland Nurses Union (QNI), Queensland will be short about 14,000 nurses over the next two years.
CQUniversity's new Registered Nurse Re-Entry Course (CRNRC) program is the only one of its kind offered in Queensland.
The online course is designed for registered nurses who have let their registration lapse or who have not practiced for a minimum of five years.
CQUniversity has recently welcomed the first cohort of students into the program, which is the first of its kind offered in Queensland.
Currently there are 19 students enrolled in the program, who are living in all parts of Australia from Cooktown to Melbourne.
Kim Baker, a former registered nurse in Western Australia, will join the first intake of students completing the Registered Nurse Re-Entry Course at CQUniversity. Kim Baker, who is living in Mackay, is part of the first intake of students this year.
Mrs Baker was a former nurse in Western Australia and the Northern Territory. After having two children (now aged seven and nine), she felt the program was perfect opportunity to re-train and re-enter the workforce.
"I miss the caring and teaching aspects of nursing and making a difference to a person's health and illness continuum," Mrs Baker said.
"I am hoping to have completed the course and clinical placement by early November and be working in a hospital by January."
CQUniversty's Queensland Centre for Professional Health Education Director Deb Austen said the university identified a very strong need for the program.
"This program is very important because there are a significant number of nurses seeking re-entry to the workforce, and they are able to be acknowledged for their previous experience while upgrading their knowledge of contemporary practice through a recognised course," Ms Austen said.
The course is made up of an online theoretical component of ten modules, completed over ten weeks, followed by a 3 day face to face clinical skills workshop at the new Noosa campus, and 160 hours of clinical placement.
Upon completion, students will have developed the knowledge, skills and other attributes that are required for Registered Nurses to be able to provide nursing care competently and within the overarching context of safe practice.
"Students also gain the necessary knowledge and skills to re-enter the nursing profession as a safe and competent beginning level nurse in line with the ANMC Competency Standards for Registered Nurses," Ms Austen said.
Students can complete the program online from anywhere in Australia but are required to undertake a three day compulsory Clinical Skills Workshop at the CQUniversity Noosa Campus, as well as 160 hours of supernumerary clinical placement in a Centre for Professional Health Education-approved facility.
Ms Austen said while the program helped to encourage nurses to get back into the profession, it was also about replenishing the health industry with experienced nurses in local communities.
"We have had a strong interest from nurses in a wide range of different areas across the entire health industry."
Interested nurses can also apply to the Royal College of Nursing Australia (RCNA) for a $6000 scholarship to undertake the course, with the next round of scholarships closing on July 23.
The program is scheduled to run three times a year through CQUniversity.
For more information on CQUniversity's CRNRC program, visit www.cqu.edu.au/faculties/faculty-of-sciences,-engineering-and-health/schools/nursing-and-midwifery/centre-for-professional-health-education/re-entry-nursing or join them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/CqUnicphe.
To speak to the Director of Queensland Centre for Professional Health Education Deb Austen phone 4930 6934 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.