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Nursing students growing health care capacity for hometown Hamilton with CQUni support

Published:02 June 2021

CQUni Nursing students at the Clinical Skills Lab at Hamilton Hospital, during a recent residential school.

They’re committed to their local hometowns, and thanks to CQUniversity’s innovative partnership with Western District Health Service, local Nursing students are growing the region’s health care capacity too.

Nursing students have been heading to Hamilton, in Western Victoria, in recent months, as CQUniversity hosted its first local residential schools for the state.

Last year saw the first graduations for the partnership, with Hamilton Hospital nurses Jeanne Pollock, Lachlan Fitzgerald and Rebecca Kenny all achieving their Bachelor of Nursing.

An enrolled nurse for the past decade, Ms Pollock juggled full-time work and full-time study to complete the degree, and said it couldn’t have happened without CQUniversity’s flexible online delivery.

“There’s nowhere in Hamilton that offers the Bachelor of Nursing face-to-face, so without the online option, I couldn’t have done it – I would have had to quit my job, and leave town while I studied,” she explained.

CQUniversity is now expanding its local face-to-face support, with the three residential schools held across March to May at the new Clinical Skills Lab at Hamilton Hospital.

The lab simulates a ward environment, where students can manage patients in a clinical setting supported by CQUniversity and WDHS.

CQUniversity Associate Vice-President (Victoria Region) Lara Carton said CQUniversity was passionate about empowering people to study and grow their careers in their own community.

“We are proud to have strong partnerships with industry in regional Victoria, including this wonderful collaboration in Hamilton with Western District Health Service,” she said.

“We know when students are supported to study in regional areas, they are more likely to stay in regional areas to work after graduation, and that’s a great thing for the students, and for their communities.”

WDHS chief executive Rohan Fitzgerald said he was proud of the students and graduates in the program.

"We are very excited about the potential of the CQUniversity program to support more people to train and work right here in their local community,” he said.

This month will also see Hamilton host CQUniversity's first Victorian Social Innovation Workshop, attracting student participants from across the state.

The immersive three-day workshop, held in partnership with WDHS, will challenge students to design a central hub for the region, to engage young people and diverse community members with health services.

Held across 22-24 June 2021, the workshop is facilitated by the Office of Social Innovation, and is part of CQUni's work as Australia's only Changemaker University, accredited by global social innovation and education network Ashoka U.