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Can working in aged care produce better nurses?

Research by academics at Western Sydney University has found that nursing undergrads who work in aged care while completing their studies are learning valuable skills and enter the profession ahead of their graduate peers.

The research surveyed new graduate nurses who were previously employed as undergraduate assistants in nursing in an aged care facility and found that they believed aged care work improved their communication skills, understanding of the health system as a whole and, importantly, their time keeping.

“It made me far more comfortable in just communicating with patients and family,” said one participant.

“It made me confident in my ability to care for patients to some extent, which relieved any anxiety when starting as an RN,” said another. "I believed I was one step ahead of many other nurses who had no prior experience in the field. I was also comfortable quickly building rapport with patients."

Lead author Cris Algoso spoke with Nursing Review to discuss why aged care work can produce better nurses.

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