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University After VET: The Challenges Faced by the Enrolled Nurse


Logan, PA and van Reyk, D and Johnston, A and Hillman, E and Cox, JL and Salvage-Jones, J and Anderson, J, University After VET: The Challenges Faced by the Enrolled Nurse, Journal of Perspectives in Applied Academic Practice, 5, (2) pp. 73-84. ISSN 2051-9788 (2017) [Refereed Article]


Copyright Statement

Copyright 2017 Journal of Perspectives in Applied Academic Practice. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

DOI: doi:10.14297/jpaap.v5i2.281


In Australia, many Enrolled Nurses (EN) complete vocational education training (VET), undertake clinical work, and then progress into a tertiary, Registered Nurse (RN), program. Transition into university for ENs is typically into the second year of degree programs, with credit awarded for first year courses including basic bioscience subjects,predicated on recognition of prior learning. However, in educational literature ENs report that their prior study left them feeling unprepared for university and that VET,even coupled with work experience,may not adequately reinforce foundational science knowledge sufficient to support direct entry to second year biosciences. Moreover, bioscience subjects are internationally acknowledged as central to nursing students’ ‘science anxiety,’ and are ‘gate-keeper’ subjects in pre-registration programs, providing critical underpinning of theoretical knowledge for many other subjects. Indeed, a recent (2015) Australian government report on pathways into higher education highlighted concerns around modes of transition into university, citing significantly lower success rates for students from a low socio-economic status (LSES) background who frequently enter the tertiary sector via vocational pathways. This paper will explore, using a case study approach, the issues of transition from vocational training to the university programs across multiple Bachelor of Nursing (BN) programs (tertiary institutions) in both rural and metropolitan contexts from several Australian states. It will highlight challenges reported by these EN students that limit their capacity to engage in traditional tertiary programs including concomitant shift work requirements. ENs are typically female,mature age students with carer responsibilities, who study in isolation, online and via distance learning, further compounding issues of tertiary transition. The paper will describe a multi-institutional project designed by a multidisciplinary academic team, to enhance transition skills and build academic resilience for these ENs, to assist with their engagement and success in their BN studies.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:nursing; bioscience, transition, prior learning, online package
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Nursing
Research Field:Acute care
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Provision of health and support services
Objective Field:Nursing
UTAS Author:Anderson, J (Dr Judith Anderson)
ID Code:140648
Year Published:2017
Deposited By:Nursing
Deposited On:2020-09-01
Last Modified:2020-10-26
Downloads:13 View Download Statistics

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