TAFE NSW Wagga Wagga nursing teacher Chrissy Haddrill with some of her TVET students, who have received early entry into university.
A TAFE NSW Wagga Wagga TVET class has secured a remarkable collective outcome, with almost the entire class being accepted into university early, while many of their Year 12 classmates sweat over their HSC results.
The Certificate III in Health Services Assistance TVET class, made up of senior high school students from across the district, saw 14 of its 16 members be accepted into uni in September - before the HSC exams even commenced.
The majority of the class was offered a place in the Bachelor of Nursing at Charles Sturt University, while others will commence degrees in radiography, physiotherapy and science.
It comes as the nursing workforce continues to battle a post-COVID hangover, with Health Department modelling forecasting a national shortage of about 80,000 nurses by 2025.
TAFE NSW Wagga Wagga Nursing Teacher Chrissy Haddrill said the students’ early acceptance into university was a powerful example of how TAFE NSW TVET courses gave students a running start into a career.
“By having an opportunity to study a TAFE NSW qualification while still at school, these students receive priceless industry experience and get a significant headstart to their careers,” Ms Haddrill said.
“The qualification also means they can work in health while still studying.”
Students from TRAC, Kildare, Mater Dei, Wagga High, Kooringal High, Junee High and Coolamon Central School were represented in the class.
TAFE NSW’s close ties to Wagga Base Hospital meant students were able to learn the practical skills of nursing by completing a two-week work placement at the hospital.
Students worked alongside registered and enrolled nurses in the medical and orthopaedic wards during placement and were also given training on job interview techniques to maximise their chances of securing paid work at the hospital.
One of the students to secure an early uni place is Junee High School student Matilda McDevitt, who will be studying a Bachelor of Nursing at Charles Sturt University in 2023. The 18-year-old said she was relieved the HSC pressure had been alleviated and was grateful for her experience at TAFE NSW.
“I chose TAFE NSW because I wanted to take the HSC pressure off and I liked the idea of getting real industry experience before committing to a uni degree,” Ms McDevitt said.
“TAFE NSW was so hands-on and working in the different wards at the hospital really helped me decide what area of health I wanted to work in.”
Ms McDevitt plans to eventually become a midwife and practise close to home in the Riverina.
Media contact: Dan Johns, TAFE NSW Communications Specialist, mobile 0477 722 428