Growing up in the city, Georgina Rudken never imagined she would end up as a nurse in the bush.
She is now thriving as a Registered Nurse at the Roma South West Hospital and Health Service thanks to a diverse and cross-disciplinary student experience at the University of Southern Queensland.
“The exposure to a variety of different general and specialist nursing care techniques available to rural student nurses is unparalleled,” Ms Rudken said.
“You don’t just learn the fundamentals, you learn how to be an acute care nurse, primary care provider, autonomous clinician and multidisciplinary advocate.
“The practical experience extends beyond simple skills, equipping you well for the constant demands of the health industry.”
The University of Southern Queensland has taken another step towards guaranteeing the nursing workforce of tomorrow.
From Semester One 2022, students will be able to study a Bachelor of Nursing at the Southern Queensland Rural Health Clinical Training Facility at Charleville in addition to existing offerings in Toowoomba, Ipswich and online.
The training facility, a collaboration between the University of Southern Queensland, South West Hospital and Health Service and Southern Queensland Rural Health, will expand, maintain and improve practical experiences for nursing students living in rural and remote settings.
Nursing and Midwifery Lecturer and Program Coordinator Jessica Elliott said the innovation was an exciting step for health care and education alike, giving students easier access to equipment and tools to enhance their learning journey.
“The training facility will alleviate the need for students to drive up to 800km to campus in order to complete mandatory practical components within the Bachelor of Nursing,” Ms Elliott said.
“Students will be able to come directly to Charleville and stay while they complete their residential schools.”
As an added bonus to ease the pressure of trying to balance life and study, students won’t have to worry about the cost of attending a Residential School.
“As part of the collaboration, Southern Queensland Rural Health will provide accommodation free of charge for students living outside Charleville,” Ms Elliott said.
“We know how much of a commitment it can be for rural and regional students to leave their families and lifestyles for days on end.”
She said it was hoped the extra support would help students looking to challenge themselves.
“We’re so excited to welcome our new Bachelor of Nursing cohort to Charleville next year and can’t wait to see what’s in store for the future generation of health professionals,” Ms Elliott said.
And if the sparkle in Georgina Rudken’s eyes when talking about her rural study experience is anything to go by, it’s a future full of prosperity, reward and honour.
“Learning in the bush is the opportunity of a lifetime,” Ms Rudken said.
“The escape from the hustle and bustle of the city helped me to realise my passion for community-centred care.
“It was the best decision I could’ve made – and I’m in my dream career because of it.”
Find out more about studying Nursing at the University of Southern Queensland here.