A government-endorsed national survey of undergraduate students has again ranked the nursing course at Avondale University as number one in Australia.
Results from the 2021 Quality Indicators for Learning and Teaching Student Experience Survey rate the Bachelor of Nursing top for quality of the educational experience, skills development, learner engagement, teaching quality, student support and learning resources. The rankings compare Avondale with the 37 other universities and higher education providers offering a similar course.
Almost 300 Avondale nurses completed the survey. Linda Heath is one. As a mature-age student, she speaks highly of the personalised support she receives from dedicated academic and professional staff. “They’re not only approachable but genuinely want us to succeed and go out of their way to accommodate special requests.” Completing placements at “my go-to hospital”—Sydney Adventist Hospital—also appeals. “The staff at the San do their best to help meet the requirements of your scope of practice.”
Linda, now an assistant in nursing on the maternity ward, remembers the first contact she had with the School of Nursing and Health. “I didn’t know whether I’d get in to the course, so I called to ask some questions. After talking to Rachel [Cardwell, the school’s administration assistant and receptionist] and hearing her friendly manner, I thought, I’ve found my place. That one call was enough to convince me.”
Head of School Tamera Gosling and course convenor Cheryl Magus are “humbled” students like Linda have “recognised the dedication of our team and the quality of our course.” The challenges of COVID-19 highlighted both. For example, the school used creative strategies to support learning during the lockdown, mailing supplies to ensure students could practise new skills before clinical placements. This culture of care is key. “We love having the opportunity as a Christian university to help students develop knowledge, skills and professional behaviour in a course underpinned by the ethic of holistic care. This ensures they are best prepared to provide that same quality care to others.”