Smoothing the transition to university for Enrolled Nurses (ENs) upgrading their qualifications is the focus of a new project being led by Charles Sturt University (CSU).
The project has secured a $40 000 grant from the Office for Learning and Teaching in partnership with James Cook University and the University of Technology Sydney.
Project leader, Dr Patricia Logan from CSU's School of Biomedical Sciences, said since 2013 ENs wanting to upgrade their qualifications to become Registered Nurses (RNs) are given direct entry to the second year of university degrees.
"Many of these students have experienced a break in study since completing their initial training," Dr Logan said.
"Those studying online may also be juggling work and family commitments. All of this can make the transition daunting."
Over the next year a website, learning materials and resources will be developed to help ENs come to grips with the study practices required for success at university and the site will include materials for revision of foundation science.
"The project will focus on revising the science basics in readiness for second year pathophysiology and pharmacology study," Dr Logan said.
The material will be available for all universities and ENs to access and also made available offline for those with poor internet connections.
CSU Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Toni Downes said, "This innovative project has great potential to improve the quality of learning and teaching of ENs at Charles Sturt University and in the Australian higher education sector more broadly."
A preliminary trial of a transition program for ENs studying at CSU in 2014 showed promising results.
"This project aims to provide better transitions between the vocational educational and training sector and higher education," Dr Logan said.
"It's set to provide better educational support for the career pathways for nurses for which the flow-on effect is the improved health care for our communities through boosting the number of RNs".