Mid-year start offered to aspiring nurses at La Trobe


La Trobe University is making an unprecedented move to tackle the nursing shortage in rural Australia. For the first time ever, the university’s Rural Health School will accept new nursing students mid-year at its regional campuses.

This decision comes as Australia faces a severe lack of healthcare workers, especially in rural areas. To help fix this problem, La Trobe is opening up 130 spots for nursing students to start their degrees in the middle of the academic year. These students will study at the university’s campuses in Bendigo, Mildura, Shepparton, and Albury-Wodonga.

This mid-year intake is part of La Trobe’s bigger plan to boost the number of healthcare workers in Australia. The university aims to train nearly 5,000 more students in nursing, psychology, dentistry, and other health fields by 2030. They’re also upgrading their facilities to make this possible.

Professor Jane Mills, who leads La Trobe’s Rural Health School, believes this change will help address the workforce shortage. She says, “Being innovative and flexible in our approach will be key to the sustainability and success of our healthcare professionals in the future.”

Associate Professor Melissa Deacon-Crouch, who oversees nursing education at the school, adds, “Our nursing students receive a first-class education from our lecturers and our clinical partners, preparing them to meet the growing needs of regional and rural Australians.

“However, the simple truth is there are just not enough nurses available to serve our communities at the moment and we want this to change.

To sweeten the deal, nursing students will benefit from new placement payments during their practical training. Starting in mid-2025, they’ll get about $320 per week while on placement, thanks to a new government program.

Professor Mills believes this is great news for students worried about living costs. She encourages anyone interested in nursing to consider starting their studies now.

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