Georgina's Story

Date: January 2022
Location: Roma
University: University of Southern Queensland
Field of Study: Nursing

From the city to the bush: Charleville calls rural and remote nurses

Growing up in the city, Georgina Rudken never imagined she would end up as a nurse in the bush.

She is now thriving as a Registered Nurse at the Roma South West Hospital and Health Service thanks to a diverse and cross-disciplinary student experience.

“The exposure to a variety of different general and specialist nursing care techniques available to rural student nurses is unparalleled,” Georgina said.

“You don’t just learn the fundamentals, you learn how to be an acute care nurse, primary care provider, autonomous clinician and multidisciplinary advocate.

“The practical experience extends beyond simple skills, equipping you well for the constant demands of the health industry.”

Students are able to study a Bachelor of Nursing at the Southern Queensland Rural Health Clinical Training Facility at Charleville in addition to existing offerings in Toowoomba, Ipswich and online.

The training facility, a collaboration between the University of Southern Queensland, South West Hospital and Health Service and Southern Queensland Rural Health, will expand, maintain and improve practical experiences for nursing students living in rural and remote settings.

University of Southern Queensland Nursing and Midwifery Lecturer and Program Coordinator Jessica Elliott said the innovation was an exciting step for health care and education alike, giving students easier access to equipment and tools to enhance their learning journey.

“The training facility will alleviate the need for students to drive up to 800km to campus in order to complete mandatory practical components within the Bachelor of Nursing,” Jessica said.

“Students will be able to come directly to Charleville and stay while they complete their residential schools.”

As an added bonus to ease the pressure of trying to balance life and study, students won’t have to worry about the cost of attending a Residential School.

“As part of the collaboration, Southern Queensland Rural Health will provide accommodation free of charge for students living outside Charleville,” Jessica said.

“We know how much of a commitment it can be for rural and regional students to leave their families and lifestyles for days on end.”

She said it was hoped the extra support would help students looking to challenge themselves.

“We’re so excited to welcome our new Bachelor of Nursing cohort to Charleville next year and can’t wait to see what’s in store for the future generation of health professionals,” Jess said.

And if the sparkle in Georgina Rudken’s eyes when talking about her rural study experience is anything to go by, it’s a future full of prosperity, reward and honour.

“Learning in the bush is the opportunity of a lifetime,” Georgina said.

“The escape from the hustle and bustle of the city helped me to realise my passion for community-centred care.

“It was the best decision I could’ve made – and I’m in my dream career because of it.”

Originally featured: https://www.unisq.edu.au/news/2022/01/city-to-the-bush-rural-nurses

From Toowoomba to Charleville, Kingaroy to Goondiwindi, our students’ complete rural placements all over regional, rural, and remote Southern Queensland (across more than 400,000 square kilometres).

Learn first-hand from students, just like yourself, about their experience going on a rural placement, and why it’s an experience like no other!


Get In Touch

If you want to share your rural placement experience with us, please email sqrh@uq.edu.au.

We would love to hear all about it!