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Nursing Students Anxious Over Deferred Work Placements

May 20, 2020

Nursing Students Anxious Over Deferred Work Placements

Nursing students will be delayed getting jobs without clinical hours in their study. Photo: Nadia Amaral

Nursing students are worried about getting jobs after the Coronavirus pandemic caused a national delay in university work placements.

Students have only been able to study remotely from home with distance learning.

Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology nursing student Samantha Wakley says her whole learning year has been pushed back as a result of the virus.

Audio: Samantha Wakley explains the impact Covid-19 has had on her studies.

Work placements are part of the course and have to be completed for qualification.

They are set up to provide students with a learning experience of a professional working environment.

“I won’t be going into placement for the next few months,” says Wakley.

“Without completing these placements, I can’t graduate.”

Wakley is equally concerned about how this will affect her future employment opportunities.

Work placements for final year students are increasingly necessary for many graduate jobs.

“I’m really anxious about the fact that I might not be able to get into a new graduate programme, which means I'll be delayed in getting a job.”

For the last six weeks Wakley has been learning online from her home in Tauranga.

“It's quite difficult to go from of course that’s been really hands on and practical based to then doing a whole bunch of theory online.”

Wakley’s frustrations are shared by nursing student Natasha Dodd.

Dodd, studying a Bachelor of Nursing at the University of Auckland, says the new remote learning is not the same as what you would learn when out in the field.

“It's hard to imagine what the theory we learn in class would really be like until we experience some placement,” she says.

“We're not able to go and do hands-on practice,” says Dodd, who says not having a balance between clinical and theory work is a serious issue.

Dodd says the Nursing Council of New Zealand requires at least 1000 hours of clinical work placement.

“Because we’re not going on placement, our work hours have been cut down so I’m hoping that the alternative theory work they’ve given students will be enough to still graduate in November”

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