The largest nursing and midwifery education facility in NSW, at UTS, was formally opened today by Federal Minister for Health Tanya Plibersek.
The state-of-the-art facility, which features nine simulated clinical settings, will accommodate more than 900 students each year and help to ensure capable and work-ready graduates.
UTS Vice-Chancellor Professor Ross Milbourne said UTS was leading the sector in nursing and midwifery education and research.
"This $4.8 million clinical laboratory development is considered world class – the result of six years of strategic focus on teaching and learning and simulation in healthcare," Professor Milbourne said.
"Having nine clinical labs allows us to run all nursing and midwifery professional subject classes in realistic simulated health settings. We are only university in NSW with this capability.
"The result is that students feel like a nurse or midwife from moment they start their degree. Because of this, our students have said they are luckiest in country."
The facility is equipped with simulation bays that house new generation computer-controlled simulated patients and a purpose built midwifery/paediatrics laboratory. The latest in AV technology allows for recording and playback of simulation scenarios for debriefing and self assessment.
"The development of this facility was made possible by Federal Government funding, matched by UTS," Professor Milbourne said. "UTS has been delighted to partner with the Government in delivering these vital health services to Australia."
Dean of Nursing, Midwifery and Health Professor John Daly said UTS's curriculum was at the cutting edge of the changing needs of health consumers and the new facility provided realistic and representative learning environments to match.
"Our students apply knowledge as they learn; they develop high level clinical competency more rapidly and report being more capable and confident on external clinical practice placements," Professor Daly said. "This opportunity for constant practice makes our graduates career ready and highly sought after.
"The nursing and midwifery workforce is pivotal to Australia's health care system. Governments are now acknowledging that nurses and midwives constitute the main health care workforce and are beginning to organise the health sector to better utilise the skills and qualifications of these professionals."