Southern Cross University will take an extra 15 Mid North Coast students for the Bachelor of Nursing course to be delivered through its Coffs Harbour campus for the first time next year. A planned 20 places for Coffs Harbour, Port Macquarie and the surrounding district grew to 35 last night when the Senate passed new higher education legislation that provided additional nursing places to selected universities.
Head of the SCU School of Nursing and Health Care Practices, Chris Game, said the extra places would be welcomed by hospitals and health professionals in the region.
“Training and retaining nurses on the Mid North Coast has been identified as a priority in the industry,” she said.
“The extra places made available by the Federal Government are particularly good news for Port Macquarie where we have developed a package of measures including arrangements for Port students to do their clinical units locally,” Ms Game said.
She said that the 35 places being offered in Coffs Harbour in 2004 would be in first year studies.
“Our intention is to progressively increase the number of places available through Coffs Harbour each year to 60 places by 2006,” she said.
“From 2005, some second year units will be available, and in 2006, selected third year units. Clinical experience can be undertaken at health facilities either in Coffs Harbour or Port Macquarie,” Ms Game said.
SCU’s new Coffs Harbour nursing program is in addition to the continuing program at the Lismore campus.
The North Coast Institute of TAFE recently announced that it will deliver a bridging program for Enrolled Nurses to enter the SCU Bachelor of Nursing program and complete the award in less than two years. Assistants in Nursing will also be able to study for a guaranteed place in the degree course.
Further Information: Brigid Veale, SCU Media Liaison 66593006, or m. 0439 680 748