First students complete new nursing program

Westmead Hospital Master of Nursing nursing graduates Adrian Mondonedo, Pardon Gondo, Andrew Zachary, Romero Eliana Azouri and Yuan Ming (Clare) Yeh.

The first students to graduate from the University of Sydney’s Master of Nursing (graduate entry) program at the Westmead precinct have now begun their clinical rotations.

The course was offered for the first time at Westmead Hospital in 2016, after nearly a decade of being solely available at the university’s Camperdown campus.

Of the 32 students to complete the Master of Nursing (graduate entry) at Westmead, five are now working across the Westmead precinct.

Andrew Zachary Romero was part of the first cohort of students to study the program at Westmead.

He is now working as a full-time registered nurse in Westmead Hospital’s emergency department.

Andrew, from Stanhope Gardens, said that despite the hospital’s convenient location to home, it wasn’t the reason he chose to study at Westmead.

“Westmead has a great reputation not only as a hospital, but as a teaching and learning hospital, and it’s one of the largest trauma centres in NSW,” he said.

“You know there is a high standard of professionalism, and the teamwork and leadership is amazing. It’s a great thing to be part of.”

Andrew completed clinical placements in Westmead Hospital’s cardiology, neuroscience and emergency departments, as well as the paediatric cardiology department at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead during his studies.

“When the [clinical] teams found out we studied here, they were really excited because we already know how things work, where everything is. It makes the transition from study to practice seamless,” Andrew said.

Andrew’s cohort was the first to benefit from the Westmead Clinical Simulation Laboratory, a purpose-built accredited clinical simulation facility delivered in partnership by the Westmead Redevelopment project and the University of Sydney.

The lab supports clinical skills development in nursing such as personal care, wound dressings, catheterisation, medication administration and intravenous therapy.

Western Sydney Local Health District executive director of nursing and midwifery Joanne Edwards said the Westmead Redevelopment project’s new central acute services building, due for completion in 2020, would bring an increased demand for skilled clinical practitioners in western Sydney.

“The health sector in this area is growing rapidly and our workforce needs to keep up with the community’s health needs,” she said.

“Through our partnership with the University of Sydney, students in western Sydney have access to a high-quality nursing education at a prestigious university right here at Westmead Hospital.

“I am proud of all the students that have completed this program and look forward to following the graduates at Westmead on their clinical rotations.”

Dean of Sydney Nursing School professor Donna Waters said the first cohort of Master’s-level prepared nurses from the University of Sydney Westmead campus have displayed a capacity to learn and adapt that has exceeded expectations.

“It’s not easy being the ‘first’ group in a new program; not everything works perfectly, but we are so very proud of our exceptional graduates,” she said.

“Graduate entry programs bring such wonderfully diverse and skilled individuals into nursing and healthcare. We look forward to offering more opportunities for nursing programs to the western Sydney community in the future.

“Sydney Nursing School is grateful to the many people who continue to support our nursing students at Westmead.”

Andrew said it was a privilege to be part of the first cohort studying the Master of Nursing (graduate entry) at Westmead.

“We [really got to test] how the program would work and run at Westmead, and in among the refurbishments and room changes, it puts into perspective that we are part of a big change with the Westmead Redevelopment; we can look back and say ‘we started here’”.

The Master of Nursing (graduate entry) is open to university graduates from any discipline. The degree is offered on a two-year full-time or four-year part-time basis, with graduates eligible to apply for registration as a nurse with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia.

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