TAFE Diploma of Nursing students enjoy their last day on campus.
TAFE Diploma of Nursing students enjoy their last day on campus. Renee Pilcher

Next gen nurses say bye, bye TAFE

GYMPIE'S next generation of nurses celebrated the last "school day" of their TAFE Diploma of Nursing course yesterday.

The 18-month course was introduced for the first time last year and its first participants will graduate formally, after final assessments of their "homework" in the next couple of months.

"But this is their last day attending at TAFE," teacher and course co-ordinator Rose-Ann Winnett said yesterday.

TAFE official Corrie McColl yesterday said anyone interested in joining the next course, beginning in 2013, would need to contact the Queensland Tertiary Admissions Centre as soon as possible.

"They will need to book into the course through QTAC," he said.

This year's graduates started their diploma studies in January of last year.

They were the first students to do the course.

The Gympie campus boasts a fully equipped replica hospital ward for a classroom, including practice dummies and real medical equipment.

With real hospital beds and real equipment, along with almost real patients, the course has been a practical hands-on experience aimed at training people and ensuring they can get jobs at the end of it.

"Several of the students have job offers already," Ms Winnett said yesterday.

"The TAFE Diploma of Nursing is a qualification in itself, allowing graduates to work as endorsed enrolled nurses," she said.

Equally important for some students is that studies for the diploma can count towards university studies for a bachelor degree in nursing.

And, the same thing in reverse also applies.

Partial completion of bachelor studies can provide students with skills which can count towards achieving the TAFE Diploma.

Ms Winnett said nursing was a field with many career opportunities. At the moment, she said there were often enough more jobs available than there were nurses to fill them.

Some students had obtained work offers before receiving their diplomas. The course involves 18 months full-time training.

Gympie Times


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