Bachelor of Nursing Q&A

Jacqui: [00:00:00] My name is Dr. Jacqui Pich. I am the Director of Studies – Student and Curriculum Matters here at UTS for Nursing. I’m also a nursing researcher and I work in the area of violence in nursing. And if I could hand over to the panel to introduce themselves. I can see Lucy, if Lucy would like to introduce herself to everyone.

Lucy: [00:00:24] My name is Lucy Rowe. I’m the manager of the clinical liaison team, which means that I oversee the clinical placements that you would go on when you undertake those experiences in our hospitals and our facilities. My background is as an intensive care nurse.

Jacqui: [00:00:43] Thanks Lucy, I think Joel, would you like to go next?

Joel: [00:00:50] G’day, my name’s Joel Zugai and I’m a lecturer in mental health nursing.

Jacqui: [00:00:55] Thanks, Joel. And Natalie.

Natalie: [00:01:01] Hello, everyone, my name is Natalie Govind and I am a lecturer in nursing. My background is intensive care and currently I look after first and third year clinical subjects.

Jacqui: [00:01:14] Great. Thanks, Nat, and Jan.

Jan: [00:01:16] I’m Jan Forber, and I’m Director of Studies for International Student Matters.

Jacqui: [00:01:22] Great thank you Jan. That leaves us, we have a student who graduated last year, who is working as a new graduate now, so let her introduce herself.

Ellie: [00:01:35] Hello, my name’s Ellie. I graduated last year from UTS. I did the Bachelor of Nursing Degree and I’m working at Hornsby Hospital now on my second rotation.

Jacqui: [00:01:49] Great. Thank you, everyone. And we’re all available, we’ll all be taking turns to answer any of the questions that you have as well.

Jacqui: [00:01:57] Ok, so let me tell you about the school that you will be joining if you come to study with us at UTS. So the School of Nursing and Midwifery was formally established in 2020. So prior to that, we were the Faculty of Health. New we are a distinct school [within the faculty]. However, the disciplines of nursing and midwifery have been a prominent part of the UTS Faculty of Health for many decades. As a school, we’re committed to improving the health and wellbeing of individuals and communities through world-class research, global connections and inspirational evidence based teaching.

Jacqui: [00:02:37] We’re ranked number one in Australia and number seven in the world in the QS World University rankings by subject in 2020, so you’ll be joining a world class university. And as well, our research is categorised as well above world standard. And that’s based on a 2018 ranking.

Our staff include lots of high profile award winning educators and researchers, as well as experienced practicing clinicians. And we collaborate with our industry partners and work as part of an interdisciplinary team to develop World-Class approaches to health care, education and research. Our graduates are highly regarded and have a well-earned reputation as outstanding clinicians, as leaders, change agents and innovative researchers. We have more than three thousand students enrolled in our undergraduate and our postgraduate nursing and midwifery courses at UTS.

Today’s session is your opportunity to ask us your questions about studying here at UTS so please type your questions into the Q&A box in your Zoom control panel and we will respond as your questions come through. If we have a lot of questions, you might receive your answer in a text reply from one of the panelists or from the Faculty of Health Marketing Team who are here to help us moderate the Q&A being an online event.

Please bear with us if there are any technical issues fingers crossed there aren’t, and we will work to resolve them quickly. If you find you’re not able to access the webinar at any point, please log out and then log back in again. And that usually resolves most issues.

So if you haven’t already, please watch our full info session video for the Bachelor of Nursing available on the Open Week website and go through the course in detail and it may answer a lot of your questions. Then consider dropping back into this Q&A session in 15 minutes time.

Jacqui: [00:04:37] Here’s a quick overview, though, of the key stats for The Bachelor of Nursing. So you can see The Bachelor of Nursing.

The selection ranking for 2020 was between 78.95 full time and 82.20 for part time. It’s a three year degree full time. We also have a double degree. So we have a degree that’s partnered with our Bachelor of Arts in Health in International Studies, and that is a five year full time degree. You can’t do that one part time. And we also partnered with Bachelor of Creative Intelligence in Innovation. And that one is a four year, full time degree, again you can’t do that one part time. The Bachelor of Nursing accelerated. This is for people who may be already practising as enrolled nurses and qualified according to the criterion that takes. You get a year’s credit for that. And that program will take you two years to do full time.

OK, so students who can successfully complete the program will be eligible to register as registered nurses with AHPRA so AHPRA is our regulatory body and registered nurses and health professionals who care for individuals and communities experiencing ill health and other life events. Our nurses or nurses practice person centered care, evidence based care to support our patients, and they also deliver preventative health initiatives in the community. And there are nearly three hundred thousand registered nurses in Australia working across a multitude of settings in the public, private and private sector and also in community settings.

Jacqui: [00:06:33] Ok, so while we’re waiting for some questions. I might just have some questions here, so if you have any questions at any time, please just type those into the Q&A box. But I’m just going to run through some slides here around some commonly asked questions, I guess, that we have.

So the first one there, I didn’t study science in high school, can I get into nursing?

And the answer is absolutely. So while we do have science in our program, you don’t need to have studied that in high school. It’s not a prerequisite for coming in. Sufficient knowledge is just two units of English. Any two sorts of science and maths are recommended but they’re not a prerequisite. And you’ll be able to cope with the science components and the maths components that are in the program.

Jacqui: [00:07:32] OK, so the next question is saying, can I specialize as a nurse? And I might get someone else to answer that question. Natalie, would you mind answering that question around, specialising as a nurse?

Natalie: [00:07:47] Sure, so, yes, there is a vast range of opportunities for you to specialize as a nurse, and that can range from working in the traditional hospital setting as well as more community, private primary, health care, basic nursing, as well as you can also work in policy development, global health opportunities. There is a huge variety of specialties that you can involve yourself in. As a registered nurse at UTS, we have a unique program in that there is an opportunity to choose a elective and what that means is you get an opportunity to choose a specialty that you would like to learn more about. And that’s quite unique for us here at UTS. So it’s an opportunity if you have an interest in paediatrics, if you have an interest in operating theatre, if you have an interest in working in the community or palliative care, you can enrol in one of these subjects and then really get a sense, an introduction to that specialty, which may give you an idea of where your pathway may lead once you graduate. But definitely you can specialize in nursing. And there’s definitely further postgraduate opportunities here as well.

Jacqui: [00:09:02] Right, thanks, now I can see there’s some questions that we’ve got to answer, so I might just give this one to Lucy, if that’s OK. So, Lucy, the question is, how does placement work, do students get to choose the ward and the hospital?

Lucy: [00:09:18] So the clinical placements, I think is the most exciting part of your degree. It’s where you really get to use all the theoretical knowledge that you learn and transfer that into practice. So when we come to allocating students to clinical placements, we have a lot of different factors that we take into consideration. And you do get to put in a preference, at least at the beginning of each session, which can indicate the hospital that you would really like to work in. And in some cases, we do even ask you to identify as a specialty area that you would like to do your clinical placement in. When we allocate you to clinical placements, we try to make sure that you have a really broad range of placements. So we look at sending you to different hospitals and different spaces to make sure that you kind of experience a different perspective of nursing in different environments. So I think that’s really important as well. We also factor in where you live, so we don’t want to send you to a placement that’s far too far away. So we definitely look at your location and we factor that in when we’re allocating you to placements. So there’s lots of different things that we do when it comes to the specialty subjects that Nat was just talking about. We obviously will allocate you to a placement that’s particular, especially in that area. So if you choose a palliative care subject, you’ll be allocated to a palliative care ward in one of the hospitals and those placements could be in public facilities. So some of the big local health districts around Sydney, they can be in private facilities, community based facilities, and we have even non-government organisations and smaller type facilities. So lots of variety for you guys to enjoy your own.

Jacqui: [00:11:09] Great thanks Lucy and I’ll just mention too, there are two subjects and mental health nursing fundamentals of mental health, nursing and also nursing care of the older person. And so those subjects would have specialist placements in those areas, but you would get a range of placements across your degree.

Jacqui: [00:11:27] So one of the other questions, is it possible to transfer from health science into nursing? My understanding is that you would need to go through UAC to do that. However, you may get some credit for subjects, but that is something around the recognition of prior learning. And I think we can provide the link to that and the team will provide the link to that on our website.

Jacqui: [00:11:53] So one of these questions, the next question I can see there is, would I be able to choose where I work after I graduate, for example, the emergency sections I might just ask on get Ellie to answer this. She’s just gone through that whole process and then we might add some detail after that.

Ellie: [00:12:12] Ok. So basically, when you do get a new grad, so for myself, being at Hornsby, they do ask you, well, in some cases they’ll ask you if there’s any where that you would like to work. And they do take that into account. But unfortunately, it’s not you know, it’s not certain. So you just get allocated wherever. So my first orientation I was lucky enough to get emergency and I absolutely loved it. So that was awesome. And now I’m on an orthopaedic ward. So, yeah, hopefully that answers your question.

Jacqui: [00:12:51] Yes so typically, what will happen if you get a new grad position with New South Wales Health, you’ll be put into a clinical rotation where you will do two or three different placements in different areas. And as Ellie said, sometimes you do have choice around that but sometimes that choice is limited. And then after your second year, that’s when you can kind of apply to go into the area that you might want to end up working in.

Jacqui: [00:13:19] Ok, so after three years of the bachelor nursing degree, are you allowed to transfer to a different country, for example, America as a registered nurse? So the answer is not as easy as yes. So yes, you can. However, it’s important to note that you have to then satisfy the regulatory bodies in each country. So in any country that you wanting to go to, you have to be able to satisfy their registration requirements. So just because you’re a registered nurse in Australia, it’s not an automatic thing. So, for example, the American example there, they do an exam prior to registering. And so my understanding is you would have to provide evidence of your studies here, but you would also have to sit that exam and pass that exam over there. So definitely with nursing, the opportunity to travel around the world is is one of the great laws of the profession. However, it’s not just as easy as transferring. So you need to kind of research which country you want to go to. Did anyone else in the team have anything they wanted to add around that?

Jan: [00:14:27] I can add something, I think you have some experience, though, if you did your degree here in Australia and got several years’ experience here, then my understanding is then that can give you more flexibility to be able to move around to different countries because it’s not purely your qualification. You’ve also got some experience as a registered nurse to be taking with you. So I know some of the European countries in the U.K., they would probably look on that experience more favourably, not over and above, just having the degree, if you understand what I mean.

Natalie: [00:15:08] Ok, so I might get Natalie, if you would like to answer this question, if that’s OK. So are there any overseas opportunities?

Natalie: [00:15:18] Ok, so in relation to clinical experiences overseas, we do have a specialty subject, so one of those elective subjects that you could undertake in third year called global health and as part of global health, you have an opportunity to attend a what we call an offshore clinical placement. So that’s a clinical experience in a country, obviously not Australia, in a country that we have a relationship with. And most likely it is a country that may be, their health system is different to what we have here in Australia. So, for example, we currently have relationships with Indonesia and Fiji. And so at this stage, one of those opportunities could be to attend clinical experience at either of those countries.

Jacqui: [00:16:12] Great, thanks. Nat.

Jacqui: [00:16:18] Ok, I’m going to throw this out to the team, so the question is, what is the most challenging part of the first year of the nursing program?

So maybe I’ll get Ellie as a student, former student, recent former student, and then I might call on Nat sorry to call on Nat net again because she was the coordinator of the first clinical subject. So she will have some experiences to share as well.

Ellie: [00:16:51] So obviously it’s subjective, so some people will find some things harder than others, I think for myself, placement was the most challenging thing because you learn all this theory and even though you’re really excited, you’re going into an environment where you feel like you don’t know anything and you feel sort of like a burden to the masses, which you’re not. Definitely not. But that’s a whole new thing, especially if for myself, I’ve never worked full time, so placement can be quite tiring. So just taking into account that when you are on placement to look after your mental health and making sure you’re getting lots of rest on the weekends, and then that’s, I think, just getting used to university how a university runs with all its assignments and everything as well but you’ll get into the hang of it really quickly. So yeah, I would say that placements is the most challenging thing because it’s so different to what you’ve ever done, but it’s the most fun part as well.

Jacqui: [00:18:01] Did you have anything to add Nat, just from your experiences with your first students?

Natalie: [00:18:05] I think I think everyone will have a different experience. And so this is by no means I cannot give you a sort of a definitive answer. It really depends on your experience that you bring from your current situation. So if you’re just leaving high school, the experiences you bring from how you learned in high school into university, it also could be that this could be your second career opportunity and you’re transitioning from another career or you’ve studied already and you’re moving into a new career path. So individually, you will bring your own experiences to this way of studying. And I think that’s the main shift that I noticed you’re moving from, if you’re coming from high school, you may feel that your transition may be a lot harder to manage in the sense that we drive when you’re in university, we drive from a place called Independent Learning and self directed learning. And that all comes from adult learning principles. And I know those all sounds like what you’re talking about. Why does this matter? But what it means is, is we try and provide you with skills that you will then become, take ownership of the way you learn. So the transition can be a bit tricky because there’s a lot of responsibility then falls on us to learner to keep your own timetable, to make sure you arrive to class, to do preparation work before you come to class. But we work with you during those first few weeks of university to make sure that you settle in, that you have all the resources that you need, that you know, the university services that are available to you to ensure that you have a successful time here with us at UTS. So it is a different experience. But I think if you come with open eyes and if you come with a sense of wanting to learn and be part of university life, then you’re going to definitely succeed and make the most of your experience. So I suppose that’s the best way I can answer the question. I’m not sure if I have given you any clear information, but by all means, ask another question.

Jacqui: [00:20:19] I can see a question there that Joel would like to answer, so the question is, is it possible to specialize in more than one area?

Joel: [00:20:28] I guess the reason why I elected to answer that question is because of the number of different things that I’ve done with nursing and I’m sure many of my colleagues have as well. But one of the great things about nursing is that your destiny is certainly not narrow. You know, there are so many different specialties out there and a lot of opportunity. So you really can kind of look at specialties in nursing as a kind of an arrangement.

Joel: [00:20:54] You can really choose whatever you want to do in this great scope for movement between specialties. So I would say I’m relatively early on in my career maybe, and I’ve worked in medicine. I’ve worked in acute care. I worked for the military for a number of years. I worked in mental health care and in the acute setting. And now I’m working in academia. So there’s tremendous scope for movement across the different specialties. And I’m sure my colleagues will agree and have similar stories themselves.

Lucy: [00:21:28] And really, what I would add is that I think for one degree, you can have multiple different careers, whereas in other aspects you might need to go and re study or do a whole another degree. Nursing’s one of these amazing courses that you do one three course, and then you have so many options at your fingertips and you don’t always have to go back and study to be able to completely change tact and go down a completely different career path if you’re still within that nursing realm. But there’s so many different things you can choose, and I think it’s one of the best careers that you could choose.

Jacqui: [00:22:05] That’s right, and we’re not biased.

Jacqui: [00:22:09] I’ve got a question there that you were going to answer Lucy, would you like to read that one out and answer that question?

Lucy: [00:22:16] So would the placement you’re given help you find a job in a particular specialty area? So whilst the placement itself doesn’t necessarily guarantee you a job in an area, what it does do is it gives you experience in that area and gives you a language and knowledge and exposure to that space. In an interview, you might be able to use some of that experience to give examples, which is really beneficial, I think, when you’re doing interviews to get a job and even any jobs thereafter. And also, it gives you an idea if this is the area for you or not. And I know a lot of people choose specialty areas and realize that it might not be for them. And that’s just as valuable an experience as understanding that it is the specialty area of choice. With particular reference to pediatrics, which this person’s written in this question at UTS, we do acknowledge that pediatrics is a really specialized area of nursing and we can funnel students through more pediatric placements than, say, other students if they show a particular interest in this area. And given that there are only very few pediatric hospitals in Sydney, we tend to find that those students that do a lot of placements in pediatrics will go on to have jobs there because then the staff on the ward and the people who are doing the interviews will get to know you and will take you on board. So that’s a really exciting opportunity.

Jacqui: [00:23:52] Right, thanks Lucy.

Jacqui: [00:24:08] So I wonder, Jan, if you would like to answer this question, sorry to put you on the spot there, the question is, could you give some examples of the kinds of assessments that students can expect in the nursing degree? Are there any essays?

Jan: [00:24:23] All right. Assessment’s always a yes question. So we use a very wide range of different types of assessments across the three years of the Bachelor of Nursing program. And there are several reasons for that. I mean, some particularly question about essays. There may be some essay style assessment tasks, but equally there will be group work tests where you might be required to do a presentation or design a poster. For example, there will be tossed around case studies. So you’ll be given the clinical scenario and be asked to answer questions around that. So, yeah, the short answer is there’s a range of things. So even if you’re really adverse and you don’t like writing essays, there’ll be lots of other things that will require different types of skill sets for you to be able to address those assessment items so that they’re broad and something that’s a particular perhaps feature of UTS is we try to ensure that our assessment tasks are what we call authentic. So they’re about nursing and doing nursing and how you think like a nurse rather than, you know, lots and lots and lots of essays which aren’t actually necessarily getting you to work and think like a nurse. So I think you will find the assessment tests are very relevant to what it is you’re aiming for and what you’re going to be doing as a registered nurse.

Jacqui: [00:26:03] Thanks, Jan, and I would just echo that and say we have some we have theoretical assessments, you know, that may be those recent assessments or quizzes, those types of presentations. And we also have assessments that are, I guess, more around nurse your nursing practice.

Jacqui: [00:26:22] So we would call those OSCE’s where you might be in a simulated environment at the university and you would need to kind of participate and show your skills in that environment. We also have clinical vivas. What that is, is you talking rather than writing stuff down. You’re explaining what you’re thinking to us so that we can see again that critical thinking in your clinical reasoning. And then when you’re on placement as well, we want to make sure that you’re able to, you know, translate what you have learned in the labs to that clinical environment. And so you have facilitators there who will be there to kind of mentor and to look after you there and also will be looking at assessing some clinical skills there and your clinical practice as well. Because what we want is, you know, in that last placement that you have, we’re really mindful of the next time this student is out going to be a registered nurse. So we want to make sure that you’re armed with all the necessary skills and thinking to be able to make that transition.

Jacqui: [00:27:26] So I hope that answers your question. There’s lots of different types. OK.

Jacqui: [00:27:34] So let’s do this one. So the next question, and feel free if anyone wants to answer, is: on average, do students coming to uni five days of the week or less for a nursing degree?

And that’s always important because we need to balance life, work and fun, all of those different things. So, no, it would be unlikely that you would come in for five days of the week and you will have an opportunity to timetable yourself so that you can time travel, I guess your the classes that you need to attend to minimize the amount of days that you come in. Or you might want to say, no, I want to spread it out. So there is flexibility in the timetable for you to be able to manage that. But it’s not like it is a full time load. But in saying that it’s not full time on campus, if that makes sense.

Natalie: [00:28:28] I’ll quickly respond to this question, is exchange possible with a nursing degree?

I’m assuming that you mean as part of your nursing degree, can you go on an exchange? From my understanding, that’s only available in the combined degree of Bachelor of Nursing and Bachelor of International Studies, where as part of that program of international study, you have the opportunity to complete an exchange at a location, one of the global locations, for a period of 10 to 12 months. So a significant proportion of one of the years of that combined degree will be attending university or college at another location based on your international studies. So as part of the nursing degree specifically, we don’t have opportunity for you to do an exchange program as part of the accredited program that we set.

Jacqui: [00:29:28] Is that correct, Jacqui? Yes Thank you.

Jacqui: [00:29:31] Ok, Lucy, I can see a couple of questions you’ve got to hand up for, so if you would like to answer those.

Lucy: [00:29:36] Yes. So the first question about nightshifts on clinical placement and how long a placement should. So most of your placements, I’d say ninety nine percent will be AM and what we call PM shifts.

Lucy: [00:29:49] So that starts from 7:00 a.m. in the morning till three thirty in the afternoon for an a.m. shift and a PM shift would be one thirty in the afternoon till around 10:00 p.m. There’s only been one or two placements where night shifts are performed and that’s been in a pilot study or a trial. So that’s not a normal part of our clinical placement experience. If you were to select your interest in those particular trials, then you would you would be required to do night shift in your final year of study. But that’s very rare for our students.

Lucy: [00:30:28] The next one was about burn and trauma rehab, and that’s quite a specialized, really specialized area. The two burn units in Sydney are at the Royal North Shore hospital and Concord Hospital, and they would obviously offer rehab. We don’t do that as a specialty subject, but you could definitely be placed in those areas and it might just be part of any of your subjects. It might not be part of a specialty subject. So there’s always a chance that you could be placed there. And I would recommend that if you’re really interested in a particular area, that you let the clinical practice unit know and then the people that allocate placements and they can always put a note on your file and try and help you get those placements in those particular areas.

Jacqui: [00:31:19] Right. OK, so now I see a question up here one second, So there was a question there. So this is, again, around, I guess, how much time you need to devote to your studies. And the question is I work full time four days a week. Would I be able to study one day a week to be full time?

And realistically, I would say that’s unlikely because not just in terms of the timetable logistics, but also for every hour that you’re studying, you also have to remember that you’re putting in work, you know, preparing for the studies, preparing for class, preparing for labs. And you’re also doing assessments. So if you wanted to stay working four days a week, my suggestion would be to come into the program as part time. I think you’d be putting a lot of pressure on yourself to try to manage everything and obviously when you come in to study as well, you want to make sure that you’re studying to the best of your ability so that you can end up being the best nurse that you can be. And I think if you start to squeeze too much, too much in, it wouldn’t probably wouldn’t work for you.

Jacqui: [00:32:32] OK, my question is, are there any extracurricular or leadership opportunities in The Bachelor of Nursing?

Jacqui: [00:32:41] So, yes, there are. So I’m going to talk about we have first, second and third year student representatives and Joel is actually our second year coordinator. So what that means is you put in an expression of interest in interviewing. You become like the leadership group, I guess, for that year. And in that role, what we get you to do is you liaise with your student colleagues and then you bring that information back and you would have meetings with your coordinator, which, if you were in second year, would be Joe. And then you’re kind of the voice of the students, I guess and then Joe can relay that information on to the second year coordinators as well. We also have what’s called NAMSOC and NAMSOC stands for Nursing and Midwifery Society, and that is a leadership body again within the university structure. And they have funding attached to them as well. And they’re the guys who organized the ball at the end of the year, for example. So, yes, there are different opportunities for you to become involved in those bodies. Does anyone else have anything else they would like to add around that?

Jan: [00:33:56] I think there are other roles within the university, the wider university, that seek out student representation and student engagement. There’s also some body programs where students can be peer support for other students. So I think there are across the university a range of things where people could get involved in activities that might not necessarily be labelled leadership, but they would be extracurricular and would give you a broader experience while you’re at university, but also give you some additional skills in terms of employability for when you’ve completed your program of study.

Jacqui: [00:34:37] All right, thanks, Jan.

Natalie: [00:34:42] I’d like to quickly answer, can you do global studies in America for your third question?

Currently, we do not have. There is no agreement in place where we send students to America to complete clinical placement as part of global health. So in the current program, no, we don’t have that opportunity. Not saying that in the future that might be a possibility. But in the way we are structured at the moment, we we’re not we’re not in a position to send students to America to do clinical placement experiences.

Jacqui: [00:35:29] Ok, so the question is, and all the panel can jump in on this, because we will all have our views on what makes us the best, but what makes you stand out compared to other universities in Australia that offer nursing?

So I think one of the things that always comes to my mind is this is the third specialty subjects where you can, as Lucy has said, you have that opportunity if you’re interested in critical care, seeing paediatric nursing, for example, mental health, you have that opportunity not just to do that in your normal program, but you have a specialty course devoted to that. So you get to find out more information around that. And sometimes it may be, oh, actually, I think this is amazing. This is what I’m going to do. Or it might be that it’s something that you decide that you don’t want to, but it gives you that taster before you actually go out into the nursing workforce. And to me, I think definitely that is one of the selling the strong points of study at UTS. Who else would like to answer, Lucy, would you like to comment on the facilities that we have in the clinic?

Lucy: [00:36:36] Yeah, we only utilize really top quality facilities for our clinical placements. We make sure that you’re able to achieve all of those learning objectives that you need, but you can practice the skills that you have to achieve. And feedback from a lot of the facilities is that UTS students are their preferred student. And that then translates into a lot of students getting jobs at the end of the degree, which we’re really proud of because it is quite competitive towards the end in terms of getting a position. So I think by coming to UTS, you put yourself in a really great position to be getting a new graduate position at the end.

Jacqui: [00:37:22] That’s right. You have the opportunity in terms of those clinical placements to go to specialist paediatric hospitals, for example, as well as, you know, the big hospitals around Sydney that you will be familiar with several North shore, Prince of Wales, St Vincent’s. The other thing that I was going to say is we have a really amazing facilities like here. So our labs and our simulation facilities are really a world class and quite amazing. And you have so you have all of those facilities. We also have practice labs so that if you wanted to go in and practice some skills that you’d like to love, you can walk in and you can spend time in the practice lab. And we also have always have a dedicated staff member in there who’s a registered nurse, who is there to provide some assistance to you. So these are great opportunities. We’ve got an amazing new library that was just built as well. So lots of amazing facilities that UTS has as well.

Jacqui: [00:38:21] Ok, I might get Joel, I’m going to put Joel on the spot. It’s been a bit quiet, Joel, how many people are in each class?

Joel: [00:38:29] It does depend on the nature of the class, whether or not it’s clinical lab or theoretical class for theoretical classes, there’s a maximum of thirty one students and I think the labs, it’s twenty seven.

Jacqui: [00:38:45] Here, I would just add so for the labs, twenty eight, that was close, so usually 28. However, at the present what we’ve been doing is running labs with 14 students in them because of social distancing. And we have found that that smaller size is something that we may look to be able to continue, perhaps not all the time, but it’s certainly something that we are looking to offer as well. Typically lectures where we would have a lot of people. However, these are also offered online and we are probably in this environment doing that online as well.

OK, so during clinical placement, so this is for you Lucy, will the students have any resources to, you know, to utilize during clinical placement?

Lucy: [00:39:49] Yeah, there’s a lot of resources that you can utilize. I suppose the main resource is actually a person, your clinical facilitator, who is a registered nurse with usually more than five years clinical experience, and they take you on through the whole journey of your placement. And they support you, they mentor you, guide you, and ultimately they assist you on your clinical placement.

Lucy: [00:40:16] And I think that they are a great resource for you to ask a lot of questions and bounce ideas off. And they can direct you to a lot of the areas where you can get more information. Also, you have all of your academic and theory, access to all of those notes and power points and resources. And you can always talk with your subject coordinator if you need more resources. But in every facility that you visit, there will be their own sort of online portal where you’ll be able to access a vast array of online digital material that might relate to processes or policies or the ways that you administer certain medications and then sort of step by step guides to help you through sort of any procedures that you might be unfamiliar with. So we don’t expect you to go on clinical placement with no support. We know that it can be a really challenging time, but it’s also really exciting. So I think it’s great to have that specialized clinical facilitator who can guide you and sort of support you through that whole journey.

Jacqui: [00:41:23] Great, thanks, Lucy and Jan, I can see there’s a couple of questions that you wanted to answer, so if you could do those now, that’d be great.

Jan: [00:41:32] Ok, so the first one is the question, can you do a dual degree in nursing and midwifery? And if not, how do you go about doing midwifery after nursing? And there’s a question further on as well about can you work as both a nurse and a midwife?

So I’ll try and answer them both together. So it’s we have direct entry to a Bachelor of midwifery and we have direct entry to a bachelor of nursing. So they’re quite separate programs of study. So you can come in straight away and to study to become a midwife. Many people, though, will do nursing. And then after they have completed their nursing, you can then do a graduate certificate in midwifery and then you would be dual qualified as both a nurse and a midwife. And in that scenario, you could work as a nurse or midwife because you’re you have dual qualifications. If you only have a nursing degree, you can work as a nurse and if you only have a midwifery degree, you can work as a midwife. So I hope that explains announces those couple of questions. But certainly you can do your nursing and then you can go on to do midwifery as a postgraduate qualification. Pretty competitive, but yes, that can be done.

Jan: [00:42:52] On the other question that I picked up was are most of the first year nursing students at a recent school leavers and will it be harder for me to get in? It as a non recent school leaver.

I think the cohort of students at UTS represents a really good mix of school leavers, more mature students, even people making a much later career change and coming into nursing. And we also have an international student body as well. So I think you will find within classes you have you have some of all of those groups. And that actually makes for a very interesting learning experience because everyone’s bringing different qualities and life experiences to the classroom. So you won’t find yourself the only non recent school leaver in the class or in the group. There’ll be lots of people from different entry points, and it should not make it any harder for you to get into the program if you meet the the requirements to for entry.

Jacqui: [00:44:14] Sorry, guys, I’m just searching. There’s lots of questions there at the moment.

Natalie: [00:44:26] Do you want me just to answer that one about is there any areas of nursing that have a higher employability rate?

So I suppose. Well, we’ve talked, we’ve mentioned electives in specialty areas, but when you graduate from the Bachelor of Nursing program, you graduate with a bachelor of nursing, meaning that you can work as a registered nurse wherever you meet the qualifications and the experience. So usually what happens is graduates transition into a graduate program or into a position for a registered nurse, first year at the first year since graduation. So there really isn’t any areas of nursing, I don’t think, and please free everyone else on the panel to correct me. But it really can depend on the current climate. But in most areas of nursing, there is always employment and you normally find your specialty once you’ve been working for a few years and you move into that area that you’ve got an interest in. And as Joel mentioned in the beginning, you can change your specialty as you progress through your career. So in relation to if one is more more employable, than others is probably the answer is no. It’s really up to what you are after and the career path that you want to go down. And once you have experience and you move forward, then the opportunities are really limitless from my experience. And I’m sure the panelists might have their experiences to share as well. So it’s really up to you, I think, where you go with your degree.

Jacqui: [00:46:08] Thanks Nat, there’s a few questions around COVID, which I guess is understandable, and certainly this year proposed, you know, posed a challenge to everyone. But certainly for us teaching here, for our students, it was a bit of a challenge. And we did have to do a bit of a bit of a pivot in terms of how we presented the program. So there are a couple of things around there.

Jacqui: [00:46:31] So I guess in terms of placements, so Lucy do you want to comment on placements at the moment.

Lucy: [00:46:38] And so clinical placements are going ahead in all of our facilities that we partner with. There are obviously some changes to the way we are now practicing health care across across Australia in the world.

Lucy: [00:46:56] So whilst clinical placements are going ahead, they do look a little bit different. Students are provided with all of the equipment that you need to successfully care for patients. And at this point in time, you will not be asked to care for anyone who has COVID or who is a positive patient. So I think that’s a great thing at the moment. So you will be provided with we call it PPE, which is personal protective equipment. So I’m sure you’ve seen pictures of the masks and all the gloves and gowns and and things. We have ample supply in Australia with PPE now, so all of the students are able to utilize that appropriately. And there’s lots of training that you do around that so you can feel confident in using that PPE. But I think it’s really great that clinical placements are continuing because there’s so much to learn in this time with health care and you’ll be placed in multiple different areas. Some you’ll never see, you know, they they might not be a COVID patient or COVID suspected patient. They’re in other areas. They might be more common. So we definitely provide you with a lot of skills before you go and then a lot of training on your placement in order to manage that properly.

Jacqui: [00:48:18] And in terms of the other question, there was, will everything be online?

So I guess this session is a mix. So we have some things that are online and some things that are on campus, and that’s our plan. We’re obviously impacted on what New South Wales government tells us to do. But the plan at this stage, so what we’ve had to do is to have social distancing in our labs. And that’s where I said we’re still running out labs there just with half the number of students. So we’ve got to answer to that is we have a mix where we can put something online. We may well put something online, but we do have a mix of. So a blended approach for that.

Jacqui: [00:49:10] So that was a question. Sorry, scrolling around. Was around placement, so answering this question is how many weeks of theory are there in the degree before we begin placements?

So next year we’re transitioning to a new Bachelor of Nursing degree. And your first placement will be three weeks and that will occur in spring session. So at UTS we have autumn and spring sessions, which are like first semester, second semester. So when you come and start with us in autumn, you will do an introduction to clinical placement, clinical subject. And actually Natalie will be the coordinator of that subject. And so this is to familiarize yourself with that clinical environment and to have the time to kind of become more confident with the skills that you will need to then go out on your first placement. So the first placement would happen in spring session and that will be a three week placement.

Jacqui: [00:50:11] There was also a question that I noticed there around the amount of time and placement and does that increase?

And yes, it does. So starts from three weeks in first year. So one hundred and twenty hours and that goes to four hundred hours in third year. So when your final placement, you’re going to have a longer six week placement where you’re at or where you’re out. And that is to make sure that you really have the time to practice. Working as a nurse, essentially, so really in that final placement, what we’re expecting is that you’ll actually be managing a patient load and really working as part of the team, obviously used to be mentored and supervised by a registered nurse. But it gives you the time to really be able to settle into the ward routine and to become comfortable in that area and just get this kind of comment on that.

Ellie: [00:51:08] I think six weeks or four week placements do sound like a big placement that you have to work towards. But from my experience, I always found those placements the most rewarding because you genuinely do start to feel like a nurse. And I remember my third year placement at the start of the year and it was four weeks in a respiratory ward. And I remember saying, you know, oh, now I feel like a nurse, like I’m the third and fourth week and you do start to take a patient load. So just have that in the back of your mind. If you’re feeling anxious about the long placements is it’s definitely one hundred percent worth it.

Jacqui: [00:51:53] Great.

Jacqui: [00:52:01] Ok, so we’ve got a few questions there, a little bit more time, so we’ll try to bring those through and try to get through them. So Natalie was going to answer this question, so what type of balance would you recommend for students graduated high school this year for a full time degree with a part time job?

Natalie: [00:52:23] So I suppose I was going to say I’m not sure how many hours you’re working part time, but if you’re coming from a high school, I think the main difference is that you would most likely be used to a study load. So you go to your attending school five days a week. You have subjects that you’re completing and attached to those subjects. You do extra work at home as well as in class. So it’s it’s a similar approach. But in a way, you’re not actually in the classroom for that same number of hours. But the work around the subjects that you will be undertaking will probably feel the same as what you did in high school. So depending on how much sort of extra work you did at home will be what you’re used to as you moving to university. So even though we might only see you for a couple of hours a week in a tutorial class, the work associated with that learning in the class as well as your self directed work would probably feel similar to what you’ve been doing for one of your subjects as you’ve been studying for the HSC, for example. So it’s a similar workload, but it’s just in a different way where a lot of it may be done individually. Or you could do it as a study group with other nursing students. But it’s more the ownership it comes on you rather than you coming to school five days a weekend and sitting with your classroom teacher for those those times during the week. So it is possible to work part time and study. I did it when I did my degree. It just depends on the number of hours you mean when you make part time because that can impact on your your ability to be able to study and have a balance and making sure that you’ve got restful periods throughout the week.

Jacqui: [00:54:20] Ok, so I’m mindful of the time, so I’m going to wrap up with a couple of questions. So there’s the question there about the balance. Yes. Between theory and practice.

And so to answer that question, what I would say is that in each session, apart from the session in, first, you do theoretical subjects and you will do clinical, practical subjects. So that time. So that ratio may be saying maybe one, two out of the four subjects. However, they have a practical attached to them. So they are going to have a two to six week clinical placement. So really, it kind of balances balances out in terms of the theory and the practical.

Jacqui: [00:55:00] The other question I might just get Lucy to answer, this is our last question, perhaps the question there about neonatal nursing Lucy.

Lucy: [00:55:12] Yeah, look, it is a very specialized area of nursing, neonatal intensive care, nursing is an amazing area. We do a paediatric specialty subject in third year and there’s also a family in children’s nursing school subjects in second year. So there’s lots of times throughout the degree where you do talk about children’s health and children’s wellness. So you can do placements in that area and you can always specialize once you graduate from university. So you might do a rotation in your first year out and you can always transfer into that specialty area as well.

Lucy: [00:55:57] Somehow I just got rid of the screen that I’m sorry, that’s the technology, but with one minute to go, I think, then we will wrap it up there.

Jacqui: [00:56:11] So there is a live chat that is still going on, a one-on-one live chat until 8:00 tonight. Staff will be available to answer any of those questions that we had missed. And there is the video as well that we would encourage you to have a listen to the website as well, has lots of information.

So, look, we are here to answer your questions. We hope that today has been helpful for you. And most of all, we hope that we will see you all next year as nursing students with us here at UTS. So I’d like to thank all of the panelists for giving up their time today to come along to meet you all and to answer those questions and to marketing for organizing this as well. So thanks, everybody.