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This week, Albury Wodonga Health welcomes the first group of eight fresh-faced student nurses starting in our health service as new employees.

Known as Registered Undergraduate Students of Nursing (RUSONs), these local students have taken up the opportunity of employment in our hospitals while completing their studies. These Bachelor of Nursing students will get hands on practical workplace experience while providing much needed support for our healthcare workforce, both now and into the future.

Acting Director of Nursing Workforce and Professional Practice, Jane Howell, explains that RUSONs are a valuable addition to our workforce and will help ease the pressure on our nursing staff by sharing in the workload across many of our wards.

“These RUSONs will be allocated throughout our health service and will get to experience a number of areas during their employment tenure as RUSON’s” Ms Howell said.

“The RUSON’s are second and third year students, who are able to use their skills and knowledge to support nursing teams. They will also continue to attend their scheduled student clinical placements as required by their respective universities to meet the Bachelor of Nursing Degree requirements.

“While at Albury Wodonga Health, they will work throughout the system, in a dedicated ward, and assist our nurses with clinical tasks.

“Students will help with patient meals, hygiene and general tasks and over time take on more complex tasks, such as monitoring vital signs and testing blood glucose levels

“Previous RUSON’s, recruited during the COVID-19 outbreak, have told how the opportunity helped them build rapport with patients, learn to collaborate with other nurses, doctors and specialists, and that they felt like a valued member of the health care team. Additionally, spending time in a regional hospital, especially in their final year of study, opens opportunities for them to return as graduate nurses to live and work in our community.

"Programs such as this not only provide additional capacity for staffing, they provide the opportunity for the student nurses, and midwives (through the Registered Undergraduate Student of Midwifery - RUSOM program) to gain additional clinical experience - which contributes to their development and ultimately makes them a more job ready and well-rounded healthcare professional”.

While the eight RUSONs start with Albury Wodonga Health this week, AWH representatives continue to visit local Universities to promote the opportunity to the next round of eligible students.

“We look forward to seeing more nursing and midwifery students apply for this exciting opportunity” Ms Howell said.

For more information on applying for RUSON and RUSOM opportunities, please contact Jane Howell on jane.howell@awh.org.au or apply through the AWH website.

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