New nursing simulation labs for Albury-Wodonga

Construction will commence next month to double the capacity of La Trobe University’s Nursing School at the Albury-Wodonga campus to facilitate increased student enrolments and address workforce demands.

The new state-of-the-art nursing simulation labs will be built to clinical and hospital standards and provide students with an immersive and realistic experience where they will obtain job-ready skills and increased employability.

The labs will deliver improved teaching and learning experiences by creating a hands-on, technology-enabled environment.

La Trobe University Vice-Chancellor, Professor John Dewar AO, said the University was proud to take a leadership role in addressing the health workforce crisis.

“We are committed to contributing to the growth of a skilled workforce and more regionally based qualified healthcare professionals,” Professor Dewar said.

“Part of a $170 million program of investment we are making across all of our campuses to improve the quality and capacity of our health training facilities, this project will expand La Trobe’s existing footprint, deliver state-of-the-art teaching and learning facilities and provide increased opportunities for industry partnerships that stimulate enrolment and employment pathways.”

Australia is facing a healthcare workforce crisis, with nursing and allied health professionals in short supply.

La Trobe is putting a key focus on addressing the critical shortage of clinicians in the nation’s health services through projects such as this $4.9 million teaching and learning space.

Becc Brennan, La Trobe Rural Health School lecturer in nursing at Albury-Wodonga, said the new clinical simulation labs will give students a head start before they embark on their careers.

“When these students emerge as Registered Nurses, they will be in an ideal position to care for the people who need it most and have a skillset that meets the specific needs of regional communities,” Becc said.

“We are delighted to focus on the role of innovation in shaping solutions that meet contemporary learning needs and support increased student numbers to address chronic workforce shortages.”

The Albury-Wodonga project comprises two stages; the first, to partially demolish an existing building and construct a new eight-bed simulation lab, followed by the refurbishment of the existing eight-bed simulation lab.

Construction is scheduled to begin in November and be open for learning by July next year, with the overall completion of both stages forecast for January 2025.

Breakdown of stages

  • Stage 1: Building AW-4

Work will commence in November and is scheduled for completion by June 2024. It will include partial demolition of the existing building and the construction of a new nursing simulation lab.

  • Stage 2: Building AW-6

The next phase will commence in August 2024, following the completion of stage one. This will include the upgrade and refurbishment of the existing eight-bed simulation lab and is scheduled for completion in November 2024.

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