Mater boosts women on the frontline of healthcare
More young mothers and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women are realising their dream for a career in the heatlhcare sector, thanks to the nursing diploma being offered by Mater Education in Townsville.
Mater Education Team Leader Tara Walton said the Diploma of Nursing, offered at Mater Private Hospital Townsville, gave students the opportunity to learn and work in their local communities.
Passionate about increasing women on the healthcare frontline, Mrs Walton said she was incredibly proud the majority of the 2021 Mater Education Diploma of Nursing graduates – the first cohort of students for Mater Education in Townsville – had already found jobs in the sector.
“Whether it’s a mum of three who has come back to study because she always wanted to be a nurse, or a young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander woman who wants to work in her local community, it’s incredibly rewarding to support these women realise their dreams,” Mrs Walton said.
On International Women’s Day, Ms Walton said the careers in the healthcare sector were more diverse than ever before.
“The Diploma of Nursing qualifies a student to be an Enrolled Nurse in 18 months and, for those who wish to progress their career, there is a huge range of further professional opportunities,” she said.
“Mater was founded by women – the Sisters of Mercy – and has always had a strong culture of empowering and supporting women to innovate, transform and adapt healthcare services to meet community demand.
“It’s an incredibly dynamic and rewarding sector and many Mater Education Townsville graduates are already discovering this.”
Mrs Walton, who trained as an intensive care unit nurse, said she became a health educator because she wanted to share her clinical experiences with others entering the profession.
“Being able to pass on the lessons I’ve learned from my time in hospitals means I’m helping to build the next generation of North Queensland healthcare workers,” she said.
“The global pandemic showed us the importance of having a strong and competent local workforce and offering the diploma here in Townsville allows us to future-proof our healthcare of tomorrow.”
Ms Walton assisted in developing and delivering the diploma course that students study in Townsville.
“This is first for the hospital and it’s been a huge success,” she said.
“Gaining hands-on experience in a real-life clinical environment and developing professional networks will ensure our students are a step ahead when they enter the workforce.”
Through Mater Education, Ms Walton has helped promote scholarships, including one for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander nursing students to enable them to study locally and work in their communities.
“Having these scholarships available helps to ensure culturally appropriate care is offered in our regional communities and enables graduates to stay living at home, rather than moving or travelling to move to complete a tertiary course.”
Ms Walton said the Diploma of Nursing was an 18-month course, allowing students to put their skills into practice quickly.
“Providing a pathway for career-driven female school leavers and older women returning to the work means North Queenslanders can feel confident they will have access to a highly qualified healthcare workforce, now and into the future.”