Faculty of Health, Engineering and Science
School of Nursing and Midwifery/Clinical Nursing and Midwifery Research Centre
The School of Nursing and Midwifery at Edith Cowan University, Western Australia is currently developing an innovative work integrated learning masters to service the needs of students and industry. As this paper details, the program is aimed at Registered Nurses and Midwives to support and develop the skills to conceptualise and implement a work integrated program of study, the products of which are then used as recognised assessment items. Unlike many other work integrated learning initiatives, this curriculum is entirely work integrated learning based with early units of study providing students with the foundational skills and conceptual understanding required to implement a series of employment based projects and work based activities. Importantly, central to this program is the requirement for students to map their program of learning against essential and desirable criteria, congruent with an ability to frame an argument of competence, substantiated by quality evidence. During the course, students undertake a series of ‘traditionally taught’ units that are designed to support entry into clinical specialty practice areas. The largest proportion of units however, will support students to undertake project activities that address the needs of their employer, whilst also contributing to a portfolio of evidence required as part of the master’s award. The program’s philosophy is underpinned by a trilateral relationship between the student, industry and the University. The relationship developed through the implementation of the program enables capacity building, both for the student and for industry through the provision of advanced practitioners who align with the local and strategic goals of their organisation.