Global Fairfield Launches New Nursing Study Abroad Program in Australia

Global Fairfield Launches New Nursing Study Abroad Program in Australia

Autumn Arel '24 in Townsville, Australia.

Autumn Arel '24 in Townsville, Australia.

Thanks to a new partnership with James Cook University in Townsville, Australia, nursing students have the opportunity for scholarly pursuits never before offered in the international setting.

Fairfield University’s Global Fairfield program has partnered with James Cook University in Townsville, Australia, to create a unique study abroad opportunity for nursing students. The new program, launched this fall, is designed to further develop aptitude in the nursing discipline, offer an international perspective on the subject matter, and provide an immersive 80-hour clinical placement experience, allowing students to hone nursing skills while gaining international work experience in a healthcare setting.

Committed to preparing Fairfield students for an increasingly competitive global market, the program offers courses on subjects including health and wellness, applied ethics, behavioral science, and fundamentals of nursing care.

Nursing student Autumn Arel '24 described Townsville as “the perfect place to be as a college student,” with a beautiful waterfront and great places to shop and dine. Plus, it's only a short flight from other popular Australian destinations such as Melbourne, Brisbane, and Sydney.

During her time in Townsville, Arel completed her clinical rotation in a rheumatology, endocrinology, and general medicine unit. One of her favorite parts about the clinical experience was the relationships she formed with the nurses and healthcare professionals she worked alongside. “All the nurses I was partnered with were so committed to helping me grow as a student nurse," she said. "They pushed me out of my comfort zone in the process."

She also spoke highly of the physicians, and one in particular who "would include me whenever he was performing a procedure that he thought would enhance my learning." Thanks to his mentorship, she watched IVs being inserted via ultrasound and observed a thorough neurological assessment, "which furthered my knowledge beyond what can be taught in a lecture or a lab.”

Arel's most profound experience in Australia came while caring for an Aboriginal woman in her final days. “It was a humbling experience to provide support to individuals with a different culture than my own, and understand the role of a nurse in the grieving process," she said. "There’s something beautiful about being with someone in their last moments and being able to provide them with dignity and respect.”

Another student, Kaitlyn Nolan '24, was paired with a nurse who treated patients on the acute floor during her clinical rotation at Townsville Hospital and Health Service, including those who have suffered strokes and neurological issues. Nolan is currently a volunteer at Brighter Lives, the hospital's official charity partner, and will work in the pediatric unit until January.

"This program and clinical rotation has been an extremely eye-opening experience," she said, "and I've realized how much a nurse really impacts patients' lives, and their families' lives." 

The prospect of moving across the world for a study abroad experience can seem a bit daunting, but Nolan's advice to other nursing students is to "just go with it and take the leap! You will find your way and adapt."

"Personally, I am so enriched by this experience and I feel like I am a more well-rounded, independent, and confident young woman all because I completed this program," Nolan said. "I feel accomplished because I challenged myself and did not give up. It is so important to move out of your comfort zone and have communication with different types of people, and to experience different lifestyles and cultures."

To learn more about the program, visit fairfield.edu/globalfairfield.

Tags:  Top Stories,  Egan School

Last modified: 12-06-22 4:52 PM

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