Nursing & Midwifery
ECU offers a range of unique specialist undergraduate Nursing and Midwifery courses. Our renowned Nursing program is the largest in WA, while our Nursing and Midwifery double degree program offers an innovative and broad study approach for entry into the field of nursing and midwifery.
Courses provide students with access to state-of-the-art health and wellness facilities featuring demonstration and clinical practice wards, health simulations that encourage scenario‑based learning and practicum placements with a range of off-campus health providers.
Expanding the scope of ECU's Nursing course
From 2013, ECU's Bachelor of Science (Nursing) course will include a stronger focus on the changing health needs of Australians, and provide an even higher level of practical training from Semester One.
This accredited course is focused across the health spectrum, from primary to tertiary care, preparing graduates for a range of nursing roles within healthcare.
International community placement
Our Nursing program offers students the opportunity to undertake a community placement overseas, where they're able to work in a different healthcare system and experience health from a diverse cultural background. Currently, community placement opportunities are available to students in Laos, the Philippines, Thailand and Tanzania.
Nurse satisfaction: maintaining our nursing workforce
2012 saw the commencement of ECU-led research that investigated industry changes to the staffing environment of WA hospitals. The study, funded by an ARC Linkage Grant, and led by ECU Nursing and Midwifery Head of School Di Twigg, in collaboration with University of Technology Sydney, focuses upon two key areas: patient outcomes from both before and after the introduction of Assistants in Nursing (AINs), and nurses’ job satisfaction and intention to continue in the profession from working with AINs.
Once complete, the study is expected to provide evidence on which the WA Department of Health can build the best nurse-staffing models for ward level requirements, and potentially increase job satisfaction among professionally-trained nurses.
Master of Healthcare Studies
Commencing in 2014, The Master of Healthcare Studies is an innovative, student-focused course designed for registered nurses, midwives and other health professionals. Students have the opportunity to extend their clinical and professional skills via a structured, work-integrated learning program. In addition to a series of structured coursework that will introduce students to the concepts and necessary skills for successful work-integrated learning, students will also undertake individual projects/assessment items that address the needs of their employer, their personal and professional development and the requirements of the program.
These projects will need to be achievable within the student’s employment setting and could relate to clinical practice, management or other relevant aspects of their role. A unique trilateral relationship between the student, University and industry is an essential underpinning of this program.
"My community placement in Tanzania was a great experience."
"I was very lucky to be part of the Global Health Alliance of WA project which saw me spend two weeks in Tanzania on a community placement. It was an emotionally challenging experience, but a culturally-enriching one that will continue to shape me for years to come."
Partnership programs with a difference
Partnerships Undergraduate Program (PUP) offers Nursing students the opportunity to undertake all their practical units in the one hospital setting, allowing them access to helpful resources, as well as networking opportunities.
These unique partnership programs are available at a range of healthcare facilities including Joondalup Health Campus, Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, St John of God Hospital (Subiaco), Swan Kalamunda Health Service, Osborne Park Hospital and Royal Perth Hospital.
ECU's Nursing course: Available at our South West campus
ECU's Bachelor of Science (Nursing) course can also be studied at our South West campus in Bunbury.
The facilities are the most sophisticated in Regional Western Australia. They include a nursing demonstration ward and a high dependency ward. The technology and equipment utilised in Bunbury is the same as that featured at our Joondalup campus, ensuring that all ECU Nursing students have access to the same supportive learning environment.
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.
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.
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.
"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