#NextGen nurses saved from COVID-19 wrecking ball

Media Release

Wednesday, 2 December, 2020

Monash University nursing students are being supported to complete clinical placements
disrupted by COVID-19, thanks to collaboration from registered nurses, nurse practitioners
and general practices throughout Victoria.

Impacted by the COVID-19 restrictions at hospitals and aged care facilities, some settings
were unable to offer their usual placements, so Monash Nursing and Midwifery (MNM) and
the Australian Primary Health Care Nurses Association (APNA) came to the rescue,
organising placement alternatives for 400 student nurses.

Clinical placements are an integral part of Monash University's Bachelor of Nursing course,
with students needing to complete approximately 840 clinical hours during the three years of
the course in a variety of clinical and health settings.

APNA enlisted help from across the Victorian healthcare sector to host the MNM students so
they could continue to accumulate the required hours of clinical practice during the Bachelor
of Nursing degree.

Thanks to the program, next-generation nurses like Grace MacKay are getting the
opportunity to hone their clinical skills while experiencing the diversity of primary health care.
Grace, a second-year MNM nursing student, is doing her placement this month at the
Ti-Tree Family Doctors practice in Mt Eliza, where she is being supervised by experienced
registered nurse Georgie Schonfelder.

APNA Founder, Samantha Moses, says her members are proud to support the next
generation of Australian nurses so they can successfully complete their degrees.
“This program shows students the exciting and diverse work you can do as a nurse in
primary health care – everything from minor surgical procedures to chronic disease
management and everything in between.”

“You become such a part of the community, too, seeing mothers with babies having their first
immunisations all the way through to helping older people navigate the health system. We
believe experiences like this will influence future career choices.”

Senior Lecturer and Lead, Work Integrated Learning for MNM, Danielle Najm , says a
significant benefit of the program is for students to see for themselves just how important a
nurse’s role is in health promotion and care.

“Collaboration between Monash Nursing and Midwifery and APNA has enabled us to shape
and develop clinical placement opportunities in the primary health care space that in the past
has been under utilised,” she said.

“It has opened the door to clinical placement experiences that showcase primary health care
and the important role nurses play in those settings.

“Students have enjoyed the opportunity to work alongside their nursing colleagues as part of
the multidisciplinary team, to influence patients’ health outcomes.

“We are also undertaking important research on the program which aims to explore the
experience and outcomes of an innovative primary health care model for work integrated
learning. The findings will be beneficial in developing primary care clinical placements for
nursing students of the future.”


Maria Petrakis - APNA Corporate Affairs Advisor
T: +61 (0) 404 999 664 E: maria.petrakis@apna.asn.au

Wendy Smith - Media Monash University Media and Communications
T: +61(0) 425 725 836 E: media@monash.edu



The Australian Primary Health Care Nurses Association acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respects to elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.

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