TasTAFE is aiming to increase its nursing intake cohorts from three to four at the Alanvale campus next year after the completion of new training facilities.
The $1.1 million project included workplace simulation settings for training in hospital, aged care and disability, as part of a broader $4 million campus upgrade.
The nursing upgrade was officially opened on Monday.
Diploma of Enrolled Nursing student Casey Gee-Mackrill said being able to train in a life-like environment would be a huge benefit to students and employers.
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“To see the consistency of the work throughout the new facility, and the beds, it’s going to make it beneficial for students to be able to practice like in a real environment before heading out into the real hospitals,” she said.
“It makes you feel a bit more comfortable when you get out there, seeing things and experiencing things in the way that they might be presented in the real world.
“We’re all a bit jealous of the new students that we won’t be able to come back and train in these ones.”
Subject to approval by the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Accreditation Council, TasTAFE was aiming to add a fourth intake of students for Alanvale for 2021, meaning two intakes could start in February and another two in July.
TasTAFE chief executive officer Jenny Dodd said meeting the growing demand for nursing graduates was a key focus.
“I remember arriving in 2018 and doing a wander around our campuses and one of the first thoughts that went in my head when I got up here in Launceston was, ‘where are we going to be able to meet the demand in this industry without some new thinking, and without some new facilities?'” she said.
“What our industry partners can get from that is when our students exit here, they are really used to working in a clinical environment that’s at the standard that they’ll expect in the environments they come out and get jobs in.”
An upgrade in the South allowed a doubling of the nursing intake from two to four.
Claire Breeze, of Calvary Health Care, said the improved facilities would greatly assist in having work-ready graduates.
“What it means for industry is reassurance that the quality of the nurses that are being developed here will be able to be embedded into our hospitals in the future,” she said.
“It means that when the students come into placement and actually come into the hospital they’re already aware of their environment and that reduces anxiety.”