Linking student in nursing/student in midwifery employment to Australian professional standards: A cross-sectional study

Ahern, Tracey, Pardon, Madelyn, Lindsay, David, and McAuliffe, Marie (2023) Linking student in nursing/student in midwifery employment to Australian professional standards: A cross-sectional study. Collegian, 30 (3). pp. 498-505.

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Background: Undergraduate nursing and midwifery curricula in Australia are accredited according to the Australian Registered Nurse Standards for Practice and Midwife Standards for Practice. At the university level, all subjects are mapped to their relevant professional standards. Little is known about the intersection between the curricula and dedicated student in nursing (SIN) and student in midwifery (SIM) employment roles.

Methods: This cross-sectional study, conducted in 2019 over 5 months, surveyed nursing and midwifery students working in undergraduate student employment roles at major public and private hospitals in North Queensland (NQ), Australia, using a self-report survey developed by the authors.

Findings: Data collected from 68 respondents indicated that work undertaken by SIN/SIMs in the areas of knowledge development, skill development, building confidence, and socialisation was highly valued by those who work in these roles. The findings also demonstrated links between student knowledge and skill acquisition that occurs at university and their application within clinical environments. Conversely, participants reported no formal recognition by their university of the knowledge acquired and learning undertaken within the workplace whilst in a SIN/SIM role.

Discussion: The results of this study affirm the important integrative relationship between this work and student learning, whilst also demonstrating links to the achievement of professional standards, a requirement for all nursing and midwifery graduates. The absence of collaboration and connection between the university and clinical settings is of major concern given the long-standing attempts to reduce the intransigent ‘theory-practice gap’.

Conclusion: It is axiomatic that the work undertaken by nursing and midwifery undergraduates in dedicated clinical employment roles in NQ contributes in significant ways to student learning and professional development.

Item ID: 78200
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1876-7575
Keywords: Nursing, Undergraduate nurses, Nursing student, Midwifery student, Work-integrated learning, Employment models
Copyright Information: © 2023 Australian College of Nursing Ltd. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (
Date Deposited: 19 Apr 2023 23:53
FoR Codes: 42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4205 Nursing > 420505 Nursing workforce @ 100%
SEO Codes: 20 HEALTH > 2099 Other health > 209999 Other health not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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