Nursing & Midwifery
Along with state-of-the-art health and wellness facilities featuring demonstration wards and simulation suites, students have access to a range of training methods and programs that make our nursing courses unique, including intensive clinical skills workshops and regular health simulations that promote scenario-based learning using human patient simulators.
ECU Nursing student wins the Gertrude Berger Nursing Award
ECU Nursing student Sharon Teale was awarded the prestigious Gertrude Berber Award from the Royal College of Nursing, Australia (RCNA). The award recognises outstanding contributions to professional excellence in nursing practice and is awarded to nurses who demonstrate a commitment to one or more professional organisations, including active participation in a leadership role.
ECU students on clinical practicum in Thailand
In 2012, a group of eight lucky ECU Nursing students, accompanied by Nursing lecturer Amanda Fowler, had the great privilege of visiting Nakhon Si Thammarat in the South of Thailand.
The international practicum placement was implemented to provide students with the chance to observe the different ways healthcare is delivered within a community setting, and experience the culture of the region.
Prior to the trip, the students were required to undertake fundraising activities so that they could give back to the local communities.
ECU Nursing student named Sir Charles Gairdner Graduate Nurse of the Year
ECU Nursing student Amy Fowler won the Sir Charles Gairdner Graduate 2011 Nurse of the Year Award. Amy moved to Perth for her nursing placement after studying at ECU's South West campus in Bunbury. She said that without the help of her tutors, who always provided one-on-one interaction which enhanced her learning experience, she would not be where she was today.
ECU's Outstanding Health and Wellness Facilities
Our purpose‑built Health and Wellness building incorporates health simulation suites and demonstration wards that provide a safe, authentic environment for clinical skills development, all designed to increase the competence and confidence of students.
The demonstration wards contain 52 beds and meet Australian healthcare standards.
Students have the opportunity for experiential hands-on practice to learn nursing and midwifery skills in a variety of simulated healthcare settings.
International Community Placement
Our Nursing program offers students the opportunity to undertake a community placement overseas, where they are able to work in a different healthcare system and
experience health from a diverse cultural background. Currently, community placement opportunities available to students exist within Thailand, Laos, the Philippines and Tanzania.
Midwifery Students Gain First-Hand Experience Off-Campus
Every year, Nursing and Midwifery double degree students have the opportunity to attend the Cyril Jackson Health Festival, conducted at Cyril Jackson Senior Campus in Bassendean.
The event provides students with the opportunity to learn about pre‑conceptual health, antenatal care, birthing and postnatal care for both mother and child.
Students have access to cutting edge equipment, including birthing simulators, Newby (simulation newborn baby), empathy bellies (pregnancy bellies) and an abdominal palpation torso for listening to the foetal heartbeat.
Factors distinguishing our Nursing program
Our undergraduate Nursing program is distinctive as it links the following three areas of activity that are directed at complementing and strengthening clinical development for undergraduate nursing students:
- Clinical training innovations including health simulations using actors and full human patient simulators, scenario-based learning, intensive clinical up-skilling, clinical skills workshops and resources such as DVDs for self-directed learning
- Clinical competency assessment relates to the delivery of a competency development framework which means that students are well prepared with the skills and competencies required for the level and context of care in which they find themselves when on 'prac'
- Clinical partnerships and industry collaboration encompassing a unique arrangement whereby the School has strategic alliances with metropolitan and rural hospitals and regions, as well as the private sector, for undergraduate nursing students to undertake their clinical placements in the one setting.
A Perfect Circle
Bachelor of Science (Nursing) graduate Sarah Pavlenko is one of the world’s first IVF quintuplets and, in 2011, commenced employment at the very same hospital in which she was delivered!
Sarah works in the neonatal intensive care unit, applying the skills she obtained throughout her Nursing degree to help care for WA's ill and at-risk babies.
I've always found help when I have needed it
"From demonstration wards with mannequins that replicate human illness, to clinical skills workshops for instruction in practical nursing tasks, ECU provides fantastic learning facilities in the School of Nursing."
"They also have a myriad of services in place to support students. I've always found help when I have needed it as well as guidance and advice from professionals."
ECU Nursing student
School of Nursing and Midwifery's new Doctor of Health Science course
Commencing in 2013, ECU's Doctor of Health Science (Clinical Leadership and Management) course connects directly with industry through a "reciprocal engagement strategy" which ensures all course content is designed to address specific, relevant clinical leadership and management issues.
The course is designed to advance students' knowledge of leadership theories, concepts and techniques to produce positive and innovative organisational outcomes, meet organisational goals and objectives, and support research and collative experiences in line with national health reforms.
Remote learning that enhances the postgraduate student community
It's been well-documented that postgraduate Nursing students studying online units enjoy regular interaction with lecturers and fellow students, experiential learning, and use of technology for their online study.
With this feedback in mind, the School of Nursing and Midwifery is set to launch a virtual learning platform within two online Nursing units, one of which is postgraduate, whereby students can actively participate in "real-time" structured tutorials with peers and teachers all from the comfort of their living room.
The initiative aims to enhance the engagement of students in the student community; where issues pertinent to the unit can be discussed, analysed and critiqued in a supportive and safe environment, as well as reducing the feeling of student isolation, which may affect course attrition numbers.
Research investigates emotional wellbeing of staff
In 2012, Ms Susan Slatyer, Research Fellow within the Clinical Nursing and Midwifery Research Centre at ECU, launched a research project in collaboration with clinical nurses in the palliative care team at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital.
The project focused on the Lotus Room which was introduced on the acute oncology ward for the care of patients in the last 48 hours of life. Large enough to accommodate the patient and family members, this room was furnished to allow relatives' comfortable attendance at all times of the day and night.
Researchers determined the characteristics of patients and families who used this dedicated space and investigated how caring for seriously ill people in the room affected the emotional well-being of multidisciplinary hospital staff.
The findings will be used to further develop the Lotus Room to increase the support offered to patients and families. The results of this project will also inform the development of strategies to support staff who care for dying people in other clinical areas of the hospital.
ECU Nursing: Offering Graduates Amazing Employment Opportunities
Twenty new graduate Registered Nurses who completed their undergraduate nursing degrees at ECU have successfully gained positions in the graduate program at Joondalup Health Campus. Eleven of these students have elected to continue their relationship with ECU by enrolling in the postgraduate Graduate Certificate in Transition Nursing whilst participating in their hospital based graduate course. Similar links exist between ECU and Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital for new graduates.
These healthcare facilities also have strong links with ECU in their postgraduate specialty courses, including cardiac, renal, ICU, paediatrics and oncology nursing. The bipartisan agreements between these facilities and ECU ensure postgraduate students have the best of both the academic and clinical support staff to assist them in their studies.
Research Aiming to Improve the Profession
Improved nurse staffing levels were associated with a 25 per cent decrease in the rate of patient deaths, according to a study conducted by ECU's Head of the School of Nursing, Midwifery and Postgraduate Medicine, Professor Di Twigg. The research entitled, "The impact of nursing hours per patient day (NHPPD) staffing method on patient outcomes: A retrospective analysis of patient and staffing data", was conducted over a four‑year period starting in 2002 when a new staffing method (NHPPD) was first implemented.
This research is one of the first studies to examine this specific nurse staffing policy. Nurses play a vital role in terms of enabling the early detection and prompt intervention when patients' conditions deteriorate. The ability of nurses to initiate actions that minimise adverse events and negative outcomes for patients is directly linked to the hours of care provided. Professor Twigg says the research argues that the number of nurses is important to patient safety and strategies must be developed to ensure an adequate nursing workforce. This must be recognised as a shared responsibility between policy makers and the nursing profession. The findings of this study are supported by similar findings internationally and both extends knowledge and improves the quality of life for Australians and people around the world.
Producing Award‑Winning Students and Community Members
Nursing student Jodie Atkinson studied full‑time whilst juggling a part‑time job and caring for her children.
Not only was she amongst the Top 100 Academic Students at ECU in 2009, she also recently won The City of Joondalup Award for Community Service for her outstanding contribution to the local community. What’s more, Jodie has returned to ECU to undertake a Postgraduate Diploma in Midwifery.
The largest, most progressive Nursing Program in Western Australia
Our undergraduate Nursing program is unlike any other in the state of Western Australia. Students have access to state-of-the-art facilities that encourage scenario-based learning, including access to cutting edge simulation suites that can be transformed into a number of settings, from emergency departments, operating theatres, intensive care and hospital wards, to birthing suites, consulting rooms, and hospital in the home.
In addition to our Joondalup Campus facilities, the ECU South West Campus boasts the most sophisticated nursing facilities in regional WA.
"Postgraduate education is an essential component of maintaining the credibility of nursing as a profession."
"In terms of career progression, postgraduate study has become a prerequisite for appointment to senior positions. However, with a full-time job, husband and three children, I needed a course that would fit in to both home and work, as work/life balance is a priority to me. The ability to complete the course off-campus was therefore of great value. Whilst the idea of online learning can be quite daunting the actual experience was enriching and the support, encouragement and words of wisdom from the module tutors and my research supervisors was excellent."
Master of Nursing graduate