Subject focus: Nursing programmes in Australia and New Zealand

 Monash University

This month's subject focus looks at nursing degrees in Australia. Nurses are critical to the success of any healthcare system and Australian and New Zealand-trained nurses are much in demand all over the world. At undergraduate level, the Bachelor of Nursing is a three-year professional degree that will qualify you as a General Registered Nurse. As this term suggests, the focus is on producing graduates with a strong academic and practical ability in all areas of nursing. If you wish to specialise in a particular area – for example paediatric, mental health, oncology or emergency nursing – you would do so at postgraduate level.

This approach ensures that nursing graduates have a huge number of options open to them after they finish studying, and are able to decide whether they want to focus on one area at a later stage (often after having worked and gained real-world professional experience) rather than being restricted in their career by only being trained in one area of nursing.

There are also professional conversion courses available for people who have already qualified as a nurse outside Australia or New Zealand, as well as graduate entry nursing programmes aimed at those who already hold a Bachelors degree in a different subject who wish to retrain and qualify as nurses. This course is usually called the Master of Nursing Practice, and it is offered at several Australian universities. 

For nurses looking to take their careers to the next level, there are postgraduate nursing programmes in Australia and New Zealand offering the opportunity to specialise or further develop their skills in a particular area. Master of Nursing courses offer specialisms including paediatrics, critical care, nursing education, emergency nursing, disaster and emergency management, aged care, advanced medical and surgical, mental health, palliative care, and nursing management.

Find out more about nursing degrees here

Bachelor of Nursing at Monash University

Monash Nursing graduates are sought after worldwide due to the quality of teaching they receive. Students will acquire the knowledge and skills to be a competent beginning-level registered nurse who can provide leadership and care across the age continuum. Students will learn to provide care in multiple settings, including acute care, primary health care and health promotion.

Monash University's Bachelor of Nursing will prepare students for increasingly complex healthcare situations in Australia and internationally. You will gain invaluable skills in clinical decision-making, client care, communication, and research developed through extensive clinical experience in a variety of settings. This is underpinned and strengthened by Monash University's links to world-class medical researchers and major teaching hospitals.

From your very first semester on the Bachelor of Nursing, you'll be immersed in the medical science you'll call on repeatedly throughout your career as a nursing professional.

You will develop expertise in the safe practice of clinical skills in a variety of healthcare facilities and services during your studies, and your knowledge will span a broad range of relevant disciplines.

Clinical practice units

During this programme students will undertake off-campus clinical placements. In the clinical setting students will have an opportunity to apply theory to practice under supervision. Students will attend a variety of clinical placements in metropolitan and rural locations, plus there is an opportunity to undertake placements in Sweden or the UK. Clinical experience makes up approximately 50 per cent of the Bachelor of Nursing course, with placements beginning in the first year of the degree and gradually increasing in duration and complexity as the student progresses.

Programme details

Entry requirements: Maths and English at A-Level or equivalent

Duration: 3 years

Course fees: AU$28,200 per year

Start date: Semester 1 2016 (February)

Monash University

Bachelor of Nursing at Griffith University

Griffith’s Bachelor of Nursing degree:

  • is accredited with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia,
  • emphasises the practice-based nature of nursing with many compulsory clinical placements throughout the programme,
  • offers selected students the opportunity to participate in an international short-term clinical placement working on a Community Development project in Laos,
  • offers access to state-of-the-art equipment and nursing facilities,
  • has a very committed and experienced staff base with strong industry contacts.

Centre of Research Excellence in Nursing

Griffith University is home to the NCREN, Australia’s first Centre of Research Excellence in Nursing, funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC). NCREN leads world class clinical research to examine the complexity of hospital patient care and provides evidence to ensure research knowledge is translated into healthcare policy and nursing practice to improve the care hospitalised patients receive.

Clinical practice labs

Griffith’s clinical practice labs are set up with state-of-the-art audio-visual teaching equipment and the latest nursing facilities currently used in hospitals. Treatment rooms provide a realistic hospital setting for students to practice key skills in patient care including:

  • wound care materials
  • catheterisation  equipment
  • IV parental equipment
  • feeding modules
  • manual handling equipment
  • patient mobility support aids
  • a wide variety patient care charts, heath education and promotion materials

A range of anatomically realistic simulation manikins allow students to practice patient care scenarios in realistic settings. The labs include: 

  • adult manikins with pulses, heart and lung, vocal and bowel sounds,
  • adult and baby resuscitation manikins,
  • wound simulations,
  • placebo pharmacological units,
  • audio-visual teaching equipment.

Short Term Placement in Laos

The School of Nursing and Midwifery at Griffith University has offered short term placements to Laos for the past five years. The three week placement is to a Community Development project in the Seuang River Valley, three hours north of Luang Prabang. As an immersion placement, students and academics home-stay with local families in small villages, with only basic bedding and washing facilities, eating local food and participating in village life. Each community has between 200-400 people, and many have little or no access to regular health care. Infectious diseases, typhoid, gastroenteritis and basic musculoskeletal injuries are common in the community, but can often be treated with the right clinical equipment and knowledge.

Additionally, student and staff raise funds to support a specific community development project each year. So far the project has provided electricity to two local health clinics, construction of a High School toilets and washing facilities with permanent water supply, extension of a remote clinic to include kitchen, toilet and bathing area and just recently provided funds to complete the water supply and repair a local primary school building.

Programme details

Duration: 3 years

Course fees: AU$24,720 per year

Start date: Semester 1 (February) 2016 all campuses, Semester 2 (July) 2016 - Logan campus only.

Find out more about Griffith nursing here

Griffith University

Master of Nursing at Monash University

This advanced, highly flexible course is designed to get ambitious registered nurses where they want to be - whether that's filling a senior role as a multi-skilled all-rounder, a specialist in a variety of clinical settings, a healthcare researcher, educator, manager or policy leader.

You can study by all coursework or combine coursework and a minor thesis. The all-coursework options may include a choice of a specialist or generic study pathways.

The specialist pathways cover the options in which our School of Nursing and Midwifery Berwick, Clayton and Peninsula campuses specialise including advanced medical surgical, paediatric, critical care, emergency, disaster and emergency management, aged care, palliative care, mental health, primary health care, refugee health and nursing education.

This wide choice reflects our links to major teaching hospitals and world-class medical research centres across metropolitan and regional Victoria and throughout Australia.

This course prepares suitably qualified registered nurses with leadership skills to plan, implement, coordinate and evaluate health care, as well as formulate policy for a diverse and multicultural society.

You will be well equipped to contribute to the health of individuals, families, communities and the development of the profession on completion of this Master of Nursing at Monash.

Programme Details

Duration: 1.5 years

Start date: Semeseter 1 (February) and Semester 2 (July)

Course fees: approx. AU$28,200 per year (2015 fees)

Monash University