Where to study?

  1. Hi all!

    I'm currently looking at different bachelor of nursing programs, and I was wondering if anyone had a really good experience where they studied. I know all the programs are very similar and all of them will give you the same qualifications, but I also know that a better educational experience will increase your confidence as you transition from study to employment.

    I'm not looking to apply until the 2013 intake for full time study. I have my permanent residency, but I'm waiting to be eligible for citizenship so I don't have to pay the entire student contribution upfront. I'm also under contract with my current employer until January, 2013 and I want to finish that commitment first. I currently live in the Hunter region of NSW, but I don't have a problem moving out of state to study so I would love to hear about anyone's experience. Ultimately, I think I would like to work in an emergency department or an ICU, if that makes any difference to your suggestions.

  2. Visit kel05 profile page

    About kel05

    Joined: Oct '11; Posts: 4; Likes: 3


  3. by   carolmaccas66
    Try external nuring programs:

    www.unisa.edu.au University of South Australia (UNISA)

    www.cdu.edu.au Charles Darwin University

    They all seem pretty much the same. I only studied externally & internally at UNISA, all I can say is start saving for your clinicals - cos u get no help from Centrelink or the government. Your last clinical @ UNISA will be 6 weeks straight with no money (unless u work some w/ends like I did). It nearly killed me. Also start doing some pre-study 2 try & get on top of things. Do med calcs, A&P (anatomy & physiology) & get a good general nursing & pharmacology book.
    I'd also advise any young person not 2 go into nursing - get another degree first, then do nursing later. As u get older, it's harder to bounce back from shifts, u lose friends (cos they're working regular hours), you don't get invited out to BBQs/functions anymore, you ache more & need more sleep = no social life. I wish I'd listened to everyone & done what I really wanted to study, but it's too late for me. It can be a sad & lonely life as a nurse.
    If it's what u really want though, go for it.
  4. by   bobby123
    Maybe not UniSA. I'm in the brink of failing my student this week; just very poor ward exposure. Better off at University of Adelaide if you will be planning to go to SA.
  5. by   carolmaccas66
    Adelaide Uni don't do external though do they? Otherwise OP will have 2 move 2 SA - & you don't have to with UNISA; u organise clinicals near where ur living with the clinical coordinator & his/her team.
  6. by   kel05
    Just to clarify, I don't mind moving to study full time. I'm looking for a complete career change. To put things in perspective, I work with horses, mainly foaling and vet nursing, but some other hands on duties as well. It's already a physical and stressful job, especially foaling because I look after 50 mares by myself at any given time (200 total for the season), which gets complicated when 3 are trying to have their babies at the same time and I have one that is supposed to be getting bottle fed about then too. Time management is huge. I already have to do shift work. During the breeding season, I work 5 months of 9pm-6am with only every other weekend off and I still don't make as much as nurses do working 38 hours a week on even a normal shift with no shift differential. Then, when I swap back to days, I have to work 7am-4:30pm with every other weekend off and make even less money. I do get housing provided on site (not for free though, we work 2 weekends a month without pay to compensate for it), but that's almost a negative because it means I never get off the property. I've lived in Australia for 5 years now, and I barely know anyone here that doesn't work at the property I do.

    Sadly, any job that I get in my industry is going to be similar conditions, so just changing my employer won't help. I used to work in an office as a receptionist and then as an administrative assistant, and I don't do well in jobs like that. I need challenges or I get really bored and unhappy. So, I decided that going back to school would be a good way to get out of the rut that I'm currently in, and nursing is about the only thing that interests me. The only thing I would rather do is veterinary, but there's no way I would get in and 5 years is a long time to try to support yourself while studying full time.

    As far as where to study, I do like this area a lot and I am considering the courses at Newcastle and ACU-North Sydney. However, I am also looking at courses in QLD and VIC. I haven't looked at courses any further west, as these are the only parts of Australia that I've visited/lived in. That's why I asked if there was anywhere that someone particularly enjoyed studying at, so I could add schools to consider. Just nothing too rural please, I've had enough of that at the moment and could use a break.

    Thanks for your help!
  7. by   talaxandra
    There really isn't a huge difference between employment at the end of different programs - maybe yu should factor in where you'd like to live for the duration of your course and for your grad year?

    Whatever you decide, good luck and welcome to nursing
  8. by   kel05
    My only concern was getting into a grad year in an area like Newcastle. There can't be a lot of open spots in such a small area. From what I've read, it's becoming more and more competitive, and the best strategy seems to be to apply pretty much everywhere you wouldn't mind working and see where you get in. If that's the case, it doesn't really matter where I study because I may have to move again to find work anyway. The only reason I would stay around here to study is that I know and like the area, and I have friends here.

    But I don't actually mind starting over somewhere new. When I first moved out here, I didn't know anyone. I got offered a 1 year employment contract, so I just packed up and went. I ended up loving it so much that I stayed, so I'm well aware that sometimes a change can be the best thing that ever happened to you. Australia is a lot like where I'm from in Texas, but the little differences make it so much more exciting and interesting to live here. At this point, I would say that I see myself settling here, but not necessarily in this exact area. I definitely wouldn't mind experiencing more of the country, which is why I think I'm having such a hard time deciding on a school. I'd probably be better off just drawing a name out of a hat!
  9. by   carolmaccas66
    It tells you all the pre-requisites you need etc & gives fairly detailed info re all courses - TAFE & Uni - around Oz. It lists undergraduate, postgraduate, etc.
    R u a vet nurse? Ur work sounds gruelling. Sounds like you would be fit enough for nursing, lol!
  10. by   kel05
    Thanks for the link, I'll check it out.

    And I'm not a certified vet nurse in Australia, but I basically work in that capacity. I have a bachelor's degree in animal science from the US and I worked at several vet clinics at home before I got my current job at a large Thoroughbred stud. For half the year, I do foalings and look after the sick kids over-night. If I'm too busy, they put another vet nurse on with me to look after the ICU kids. The other half of the year I wean the foals off their moms, which involves a lot of patience and endurance, lol. Trying to convince something that weighs more than you to do exactly what you want takes a lot of effort. Since young horses are so illness and injury prone, especially during such a stressful time, I end up looking after all those cases too.

    Honestly, I really enjoy it. The only things that I don't like are the crappy pay with no opportunities to advance and the fact that I have to work out away from any towns or cities. Our nearest town with more than a pub and servo is about 25 minutes away, which isn't as bad as a lot of Australia but it's starting to wear on me. There's almost no interaction with anyone that doesn't work at the stud I do. Plus, I'm not going to be able to wrestle with horses forever. The older I get, the harder it is to bounce back from injuries. I can't really see myself coping with the work even 5-10 years down the road. But a lot of the things I like about my job I would also have with a nursing career, so I'm hoping it will end up being a good fit for me. Never know until I try!
  11. by   pinkgeek

    Interesting that you are getting out of horses and into RN. I am doing the same thing and it's not a mistake. Your body won't bounce back from horses at a certain point. After my last bad injury I was forced to hang it up and figure out what to do next. RN seemed like a good choice after horses considering I know how hard I can work, that I'm good with medical and nothing can be more difficult than some crazy American horse owners.

    Good luck figuring out where to go! I'll be entering the same year you are.
  12. by   imaginations
    University of Technology, Sydney (undergrad B. Nursing --> 3 years and for graduate entry degree holders condensed to 2 years)

    Sydney University (grad entry Master of Nursing --> 2 years + brand new undergrad entry B. Nursing 2012 with rural, regional, interstate and international placement opportunities, which would be a major bonus in the current climate)

    I would avoid ACU & UWS in NSW at the moment.

    I would also suggest reading up on the uncapping of student numbers from 2012 and the effects this is having on clinical placements and student experiences and education.

    150 UWS students unable to graduate due to lack of clinical placements
  13. by   Scrubby
    Quote from bobby123
    Maybe not UniSA. I'm in the brink of failing my student this week; just very poor ward exposure. Better off at University of Adelaide if you will be planning to go to SA.
    I went to UniSA but we had more rotations back then, for some reason they decided that students shouldn't get any clinical exposure until 3rd year. I find that they are way behind the Flinders and Adelaide Uni students.

    To the OP what about the University of New England? I've heard that you can work as an EN after second year.
  14. by   imaginations
    You cannot work as an EN after second year in NSW. You must have done the Diploma at Tafe to work as an EN.