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Whole of community facilitators: An exemplar for supporting rural health workforce recruitment through students’ professional experience placements


Coe, S and Marlow, A and Mather, C, Whole of community facilitators: An exemplar for supporting rural health workforce recruitment through students' professional experience placements, International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 18, (14) pp. 1-11. ISSN 1661-7827 (2021) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright Statement

Copyright: © 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) license (

DOI: doi:10.3390/ijerph18147675


The Whole of Community Facilitator model provides support for healthcare students’ professional experience placements (PEP) in rural regions in Tasmania. In Tasmania, rural PEP is challenged as healthcare facilities are often small and have limited capacity for staff to devote considerable time to supervising students during PEP. Recruitment and retention of the rural health workforce in Tasmania is sometimes difficult because the island State is geographically distant from mainland Australia, and predominantly classified as a regional, rural, or remote area. The University of Tasmania, College of Health and Medicine (the College) explored various initiatives to support rural workforce sustainability, and the project discussed addresses this issue by promoting rural healthcare facilities as potential employment destinations for students upon completion of their course. The model supports the delivery of high-quality supervision to students whilst undertaking rural PEP, to foster positive experiences and potentially influence their future career choices. A successful exemplar was trialled in 2012 and implemented statewide in 2017 using a Whole of Community Facilitation (WOCF) model. The initiative supports host facilities, supervisors, host staff, and students and promotes positive placement experiences. The initiative was designed in consideration of Tasmania’s rurality, and uses a flexible and responsive framework.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:rural, health, workforce, nursing, education, placement, supervision, clinical, community, facilitation
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Nursing
Research Field:Nursing workforce
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Provision of health and support services
Objective Field:Nursing
UTAS Author:Coe, S (Ms Sandra Coe)
UTAS Author:Marlow, A (Ms Annette Marlow)
UTAS Author:Mather, C (Dr Carey Mather)
ID Code:145386
Year Published:2021
Deposited By:Nursing
Deposited On:2021-07-20
Last Modified:2021-10-20
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