A project to integrate health students’ experiences in the clinical workplace and academic settings will help ease the transition to professional practice.

The Griffith University project aims to maximise student learning experiences in the fields of nursing, physiotherapy, midwifery and human services at Griffith, Monash and Flinders Universities.

Associate Professor of Adult and Vocational Education Stephen Billett said the year-long study would identify approaches to assist students in their transition to becoming professionals and to manage their ongoing learning.

“The project recognises that distinct opportunities to learn are available through experiences in practice and university settings,” he said.

It will integrate these experiences through addressing particular teaching and learning problems.

“For instance, how we can maximise the learning experiences of student nurses’ time in hospital wards? How can we most effectively integrate practice experiences with experiences on university campuses for physiotherapy students?” Professor Billett said.

“We will aim to improve these learning issues through collaborations with academic and clinical staff involved in their teaching.

“These are the kinds of qualities required of effective practitioner graduates, who will need to engage in learning through practice throughout their professional lives.”

The project, which will be undertaken in 2008, is supported by the Carrick Institute for Learning and Teaching in Higher Education through an Associate Fellowship awarded to Associate Professor Billett.