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New project supports student nurses

Increasing the amount of clinical placements is the aim of a new Queensland partnership.

A new joint project between USQ and Toowoomba Hospital to increase the quality and quantity of nursing student clinical placements has the potential to address an expected nursing shortage in the region in the next five years.

More than 50 representatives from the hospital and University attended the launch of the Toowoomba Hospital and USQ Clinical Learning Investment Project (TULIP), which was held at the Hospital on Monday.

Toowoomba Hospital director of nursing and midwifery, Jamie Spencer, said the hospital and University had strong links, and the launch of TULIP was another landmark initiative which would support quality education for health professionals.

“Queensland Health believes in the next five years there will be nursing shortage as older nurses retire,” Spencer said. “This means we need to support student nurses in their learning, education and eventual career paths.”

As part of USQ’s nursing degree students must undertake at least 800 hours of clinical placement. If the University is to increase the number of students, the amount of clinical placements that can be provided also needs to be increased.

“Toowoomba Hospital has always had a strong sense of being a learning organisation and TULIP will further enhance this role with more nursing mentors, greater support during clinical placements and investment in our graduate nurse program.”

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