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The financial challenges for Australian nursing students attending placement-based work-integrated learning

Usher, K, Fagan, A, Brown, JA, Mather, C ORCID: 0000-0002-4301-0028, Marlow, A ORCID: 0000-0002-8606-7497, Power, T, van de Mortel, T, West, C, Hutchinson, M, Zhao, L, Terry, V, Woods, C and Lea, J 2021 , 'The financial challenges for Australian nursing students attending placement-based work-integrated learning' , Collegian , doi: 10.1016/j.colegn.2021.07.005.

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Abstract

Background: Mandatory placement-based work-integrated learning (WIL) poses challenges for nursingstudents who work whilst studying. The financial burden of WIL links to other known direct and indirect challenges, yet no Australian study has quantified the financial challenges resulting from attendingmandatory WIL placements. Placement-based WIL costs may preclude some students from completingWIL, which may impact student attrition and the future health workforce.Aim: To investigate Australian nursing students’ financial challenges related to mandatory WIL.Methods: An online cross-sectional survey conducted with nursing students from nine Australian universities across five Australian states. The 28-question survey investigated the location of, and travels to, themost recent WIL placement; and students’ employment, accommodation, financial support, expenses anddebts, and financial strain pertaining to WIL placements.Results: Overall, 2,359 students participated. The majority were employed (84%); 65% of these reportedthat they were unable to work during WIL, affecting their employment. One-third incurred a financialliability from their placement, 79% reported financial hardship, and 73% found their placement stressfuldue to financial strain. Financial issues affected 62% of students’ health and wellbeing.Discussion: Financial pressures related to WIL impact nursing students. While students have strategies toreduce these pressures, universities can also better manage their placement preferencing and support ofstudents to reduce financial impacts of placement-based WIL on students.Conclusions: Nursing students face substantial financial challenges related to placement-based WIL.Scholarship programs and other forms of support are required to assist nursing students to undertakeWIL.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Usher, K and Fagan, A and Brown, JA and Mather, C and Marlow, A and Power, T and van de Mortel, T and West, C and Hutchinson, M and Zhao, L and Terry, V and Woods, C and Lea, J
Keywords: placement, financial support, education, nursing, students, work-integrated learning (WIL)
Journal or Publication Title: Collegian
Publisher: Elsevier BV
ISSN: 1322-7696
DOI / ID Number: 10.1016/j.colegn.2021.07.005
Copyright Information:

© 2021 Australian College of Nursing Ltd. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

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