Queensland Country Life

City to the bush: Charleville calls rural and remote nurses

"Opportunity of a lifetime": University of Southern Queensland Nursing graduate Georgina Rudken during her training. Picture: Supplied

This is sponsored content for the University of Southern Queensland.

Growing up in the city, Georgina Rudken never imagined she'd end up as a nurse in the bush.

But the career track is one that she has not regretted, now thriving as a Registered Nurse at the Roma South West Hospital and Health Service thanks to a diverse and cross-disciplinary student experience at the University of Southern Queensland.

"The exposure to a variety of different general and specialist nursing care techniques available to rural student nurses is unparalleled," Ms Rudken said.

"You don't just learn the fundamentals, you learn how to be an acute care nurse, primary care provider, autonomous clinician and multidisciplinary advocate."

"The practical experience extends beyond simple skills, equipping you well for the constant demands of the health industry."

As the last two years have acutely highlighted, our healthcare workers have never been more important.

That's why the University of Southern Queensland has taken another step towards guaranteeing the nursing workforce of tomorrow with the opening of a new health professionals training facility at Charleville.

From Semester One 2022, students can study a Bachelor of Nursing at the recently-opened Charleville Clinical Training Facility in addition to existing offerings in Toowoomba, Ipswich and online.

The facility, a program between the University of Southern Queensland, South West Hospital and Health Service and Southern Queensland Rural Health, will expand, maintain and improve the practical experience for nursing students living in rural and remote settings.

Nursing and Midwifery Lecturer and Program Coordinator Jessica Elliott said the innovation was an exciting step for healthcare and education alike, giving students easier access to equipment and tools to enhance their learning journey.

"The Training Facility will alleviate the need for students to drive up to 800 kilometres to our Toowoomba campus to complete the mandatory practical components within the Bachelor of Nursing," Ms Elliott said.

"Students will be able to come directly to Charleville and stay while they complete their Residential Schools."

"Learning in the bush is the opportunity of a lifetime": Georgina Rudken at work with a patient.

And as an added bonus to ease the pressure of trying to balance life and study, students won't have to worry about the cost of attending a Residential School.

"As part of the collaboration, Southern Queensland Rural Health will provide accommodation free of charge for students living outside Charleville," Ms Elliott said.

"We know how much of a commitment it can be for rural and regional students to leave their families and lifestyles for days on end."

She said it is hoped the extra support would help students looking to challenge themselves.

"We're so excited to welcome our new Bachelor of Nursing cohort to Charleville next year and can't wait to see what's in store for the future generation of health professionals," she said.

And if the sparkle in Georgina Rudken's eyes when talking about her rural study experience is anything to go by, it's a path that sets students up for a rewarding future.

"Learning in the bush is the opportunity of a lifetime," Ms Rudken said.

"The escape from the hustle and bustle and constant stimulation from the city helped me to realise my passion for community-centred care.

"It was the best decision I could've made - and I'm in my dream career because of it."

Find out more about studying Nursing at the University of Southern Queensland here.

This is sponsored content for the University of Southern Queensland.