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Grampians Clinical Training (Nursing) Capacity Building Project
Project Summary
Within Ballarat, the demand for clinical placements for undergraduate student nurses has
been rapidly nearing capacity, while clinical placement capacity in regional health services
outside Ballarat has been under-utilised.
As enrolments in Bachelor of Nursing programs at Australian Catholic University and the
University of Ballarat grow, there is a need to build additional capacity for clinical placements
within Ballarat and better utilise the regional capacity outside Ballarat.
Regional collaboration
The Grampians Clinical Training (Nursing) Capacity Building Project is a collaborative
initiative by the Australian Catholic University (ACU) and the University of Ballarat (UB),
together with the following health services and organisations of the Grampians region of
Ballarat Health Services
Beaufort & Skipton Health Service
Department of Health
Djerriwarrh Health Services
Dunmunkle Health Services
East Grampians Health Service
East Wimmera Health Service
Edenhope & District Memorial Hospital
Grampians Clinical Placement Network
Grampians Rural Health Alliance
Hepburn Health Service
Rural Northwest Health
St John of God Hospital Ballarat
Stawell Regional Health
West Wimmera Health Service
Wimmera Health Care Group
Funding by Health Workforce Australia (HWA)
With ACU as lead organisation, the collaborative partners successfully applied for
funding as part of Health Workforce Australia’s Clinical Training Funding program. HWA
is providing $3.4M in establishment and recurrent funding over 2011-13 and $2.4M in
capital funding. The majority of capital funds will assist the Grampians rural health
services to provide accommodation facilities for undergraduate student nurses from
ACU and UB undertaking their clinical training placements outside Ballarat.
A new model for clinical training
The Project will implement a new model for clinical training which will increase the clinical
training capacity for Bachelor of Nursing students in the Grampians region and increase the
utilisation of that capacity.
This new model is comprised of:
 Implementation of ACU’s flexible model of clinical placements for 3rd Year student
nurses. This is a paradigm shift from the traditional block-mode of clinical placements.
Over a semester these students will self-roster on shifts including nights and weekends.
1st Year and 2nd Year students are expected to continue with block-mode placements;
 Clinical Liaison Nurses who will help to build the capacity for clinical supervision across
the region, assist with the deployment of common assessment procedures and quality
standards for clinical training, and enable a greater integration between clinical and
academic programs. Four Clinical Liaison Nurses are to be appointed and each will
work closely with up to three regional health services; and
 Extended placements for 3rd Year student nurses in rural locations. These students will
be encouraged to spend a semester in rural locations during which time they will
complete their clinical placements flexibly as well as participate in their academic
10 May 2012
Grampians Clinical Training (Nursing) Capacity Building Project
Preceptor Training
Additional preceptor training to support the increased number of student nurses undertaking
clinical placements is being provided as part of the Project.
The Project is funding the development of a new preceptor training program which will help
to build clinical supervision capacity in the Grampians region. This program will also be
made available to Loddon-Mallee and Barwon South West regions.
Expected Outcomes
By the end of 2013, the combination of these innovations is expected to increase clinical
training capacity for student nurses across the Grampians region by ~45%, compared with
the 2010 baseline. Approximately 50% of the increase in clinical training placements will be
in rural settings.
The funding for this Project is made available by Health Workforce Australia as an Australian
Government initiative,
For further information please contact the Project Coordinator, Dr Joel Epstein (email:
[email protected] or mobile: 0409 357 543).
10 May 2012