The University of WA has decided to axe a fast-track nursing degree, which allowed graduates to become Registered Nurses after 2 years of intense hospital placement and coursework instead of the usual 3.
The 2 year HECS-supported Master of Nursing Science degree required students to already have a degree in another field, and was hailed by WA’s nursing union as an “affordable and attractive option for mature, driven individuals wanting to make a start in nursing and with an almost 100 per cent uptake of its graduates.”
The nursing union now believes that the university’s decision to drop the degree will only add to looming staff shortages in the nursing field, particularly when there are large numbers of nurses expected to retire in the next five to ten years.
A student at the university claimed that the university cited financial reasons and a lack of interest in the course being the main reasons for the decision.
Accelerated Study Options for Registered Nurses
Options still exist in Australia for students to accelerate their study towards becoming Registered Nurses.
The University of Southern Queensland and the University of Tasmania continue to offer accelerated study programs, where students who start in Semester 1 continue to study over summer and finish the six semesters of the program in two years.
The University of the Sunshine Coast offers an accelerated Graduate Entry Bachelor of Nursing Science, which has a pre-requisite of “completion of an Australian bachelor degree (unspecified) or equivalent degree from an international university” prior to commencement.
The course runs for 2.3 years full-time (2 years full-time plus an 8-week Nursing Internship) before allowing graduates to become Registered Nurses.