Charles Sturt University
Charles Sturt University

Bachelor of Nursing

Listed below are some frequently asked questions relating to WPL. For any further information please contact the BN WPL Team

What is Workplace Learning (WPL)?

Workplace Learning (WPL) – which is also known as work-integrated learning, practicum, professional practice, professional experience, internships, placements, fieldwork or clinical placements – allows for students to learn through direct implementation of their future professional roles in real workplace settings.
The term 'workplace learning' or 'WPL' has become the preferred generic CSU term to refer to student activities undertaken in authentic workplace settings. However, the WPL experience can also be called the 'WPL placement', 'clinical placement' or some simply, 'placement'.

Which subjects require a WPL placement?

The knowledge, skills and attitudes practised by students on their placements are guided by the learning outcomes of the subjects in which they are enrolled.  There are eight (8) subjects within the BN that require students to complete WPL experiences. These subjects are:

SubjectDuration
NRS112Simulation only (Labs)
NRS12280 hours
NRS211160 hours
NRS22280 hours
NRS22380 hours
NRS31180 hours
NRS312160 hours
NRS327160 hours
Total hours of WPL800 hours

Each of these subjects will teach BN students a range of knowledge, skills and attitudes, which the students are required to demonstrate during their WPL experiences. Students are provided with a list of these knowledge, skills and attitudes to take with them on their placement.

Who organises the students' WPL experience?

All placements for students enrolled in the Bachelor of Nursing (BN) course are arranged through the BN WPL Team.

Can students organise their own placements?

No.  It is important that the WPL Team organises all placements to ensure compliance with the policies and procedures that guide the WPL experiences of students.  Of particular note are the policies and procedures related to safety and insurance. 

Where do students undertake their WPL experiences?

Generally speaking, nursing students can expect to complete their WPL experience within or adjacent to the CSU 'footprint'.   This is because our best partnerships have been forged with those with whom the University interacts most regularly.  For more information about the locations of CSU campuses, please follow this URL: http://www.csu.edu.au/about/locations

All nursing students are given the opportunity, each session, to fill out preference sheets to identify where and when they would like to undertake their WPL experiences.  The WPL Team does their best to consider each student's preference when allocating placements.  However, students cannot expect to receive all of their preferences. This is because the School of Nursing, Midwifery and Indigenous Health has a large number of BN students, many of whom have the same preferences for the location of the WPL experience.  To support equity, it is important to ensure that each student is placed in these 'popular' places at least once, if this is his/her preference.

How do students find out when and where they will undertake their placements?

Students are regularly provided with information about their WPL allocations, throughout their enrolment in the BN course.  Students are also able to approach their Clinical Subject Coordinators or the WPL Team with questions.

Future students with questions about the timing of locating of future placements are encouraged to email: bnclinical@csu.edu.au and request more information (e.g. WPL calendars, specific locations, and so on).

Do students undertake their WPL experiences on weekends or public holidays?

BN students do NOT attend a WPL placement on the weekend or a public holiday. The only exception to this are students in their final placement before graduation. 

Who supports the students' learning during their WPL experiences?

BN students are always supervised by a Registered Nurse when they undertake a clinical placement. BN students are also supported by a preceptor, clinical supervisor or clinical facilitator while on placement. 

All students are fully informed of the model of supervision that is used in the location or setting in which they are undertaking their WPL experience, prior to commencement. It is also important to note that students undertake their placement as a 'super-numerary' member of staff – this means that they are placed in a workplace setting 'in addition' to regular staff.

Are students assessed on their workplace performance?

Yes.  In addition to successfully completing the theoretical assessment requirements of each of the clinical subjects, to pass a subject students must also demonstrate competency of the CSU BN Knowledge, Skills and Attitudes. Students are fully informed of these requirements prior to going out on their WPL placement.

Who organises and pays for the students' accommodation while they are undertaking their placements?

Students are responsible for arranging their own accommodation when undertaking a placement. Advice will be given by the WPL team about the best places to find accommodation.  Arrangements for accommodation should be made as soon as possible after students are notified about the location and timing of their placement.

Details about how to obtain accommodation, and the rules around paying for and accessing accommodation, are made available to students once they commence the course.

What other costs do students incur while undertaking their WPL experience?

Students are also required to pay for the following:

  • CSU uniform costs,
  • Cost of the immunisations, police checks and other documentation required by a health service organisation prior to commencement,
  • Travel, meal and accommodation costs for placements in distant locations,
  • Potential loss of income for those who are employed full or part-time and must take time off work to undertake the WPL experience, and
  • Other miscellaneous costs.

Are there any scholarships available to help students with the costs of placements?

Students can read about the range of scholarships available