Bass Coast Health now an accredited university campus


More local residents will have access to a career path in Nursing after Bass Coast Health (BCH) became an accredited site for Federation University.

BCH will host first year Bachelor of Nursing students and they will study at Wonthaggi Hospital.

The accreditation from the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Accreditation Council means BCH is now officially a flexi-campus of Federation University.

BCH will host up to 20 students from March 2023 for their university training. This will be offered in BCH’s Learning and Development Team’s new space in Sleeman Ward at the hospital and includes a tutorial room and clinical skills lab.

It is hoped BCH will be a campus at which students can complete the three years of their degree.

“We are thrilled. This will not only make it easier for local students to study nursing but also help to grow our workforce,” Learning and Development Acting Co-Manager Mandie Heffernan said.

“Next year we will ideally have 40 students and in 2025 this will grow to 60 students. We hope that we will have 20 local graduates by 2026.

“It’s a big step forward in fulfilling our future workforce needs and growing our own talent.”

First year Nursing students will be enrolled through Federation University’s Berwick campus however their home campus will be Wonthaggi.

“Nursing students enrolled with Federation University who live nearby will be contacted by the university to offer them the option to study at the Bass Coast Health campus,” Ms Heffernan said.

“It’s known that people who study away from what was their home are less likely to come back to work. Now students will be able to have a career pathway, including access to post-graduate study, with us.

“This program is appealing for people who wish to study Nursing and who have children at school here because they will be able to study closer to home.”

Students can undertake most of their placements at BCH and take part in our Registered Student of Undergraduate Nursing (RUSON) program that enables students to work in select nursing roles.

BCH is also proud to offer the new Pathway to Practice program that is designed to help Graduate Nurses transition into more advanced practice after their Graduation Year finishes, helping them to prepare for postgraduate study.

The program replaces the Transition to Practice year. Participants are supported by dedicated Learning and Development Postgraduate Coordinator, Lachie Jones, increased study days, and more support from our newly recruited Novice Workforce Clinical Development Nurses, Sarah Hogan and Liam Kennedy.

“This program was designed to help keep our highly valued Graduate Nurses employed at BCH, and provides a pathway to further study and career opportunities without the need to leave Bass Coast,” Ms Heffernan said.

“It is hoped that our program participants will then study our Transition to Speciality Practice program that supports staff to study a postgraduate degree. They could also partake in further postgraduate study in their area of interest.”