Managing career aspirations

The University of Queensland has teamed up with aged and community care provider, Blue Care, to develop and offer new postgraduate courses in aged care management.

Above: Dr Anthony Tuckett, a senior lecturer at the University of Queensland’s School of Nursing and Midwifery.

By Yasmin Noone

Aged care staff around the country with management or up-skilling aspirations will now have greater access to tertiary education that is specific to their needs, following the recent launch of the University of Queensland’s (UQ) new online aged care management stream of postgraduate study.

The UQ School of Nursing and Midwifery courses, created in partnership with aged and community care provider Blue Care, are believed to be first of their kind hailing from the sunshine state and the second aged care management course ever to be offered throughout Australia.

Senior lecturer from the UQ school, Dr Anthony Tuckett, said the course fills a current gap in tertiary aged care education market.

“We did an extensive search about who is offering what and what but we weren’t able to identify something as specific as a course or a stream that focused on aged care management [in Queensland],” Dr Tuckett commented.

He said currently, the courses on offer include “health or generic management course but nothing that targets aged care”.

And, anecdotally, several clinicians “have said that, to-date, they’ve been enrolling in generic management or health courses because they were the only ones available to ‘sort of’ meet their requirements”.

“The PC report also highlighted the need for management courses specific to the aged care industry. [So that’s] exactly what we are offering.

“With the aged care sector in Australia expected to grow rapidly during the next 40 years, there is a crucial need to develop a skilled workforce to deliver quality aged care.

“…The beauty of the courses is that it will both advance the student’s thinking, especially given the fairly dynamic and changing environment in which they will work, and it will also underpin some of their work practices and provide graduates with a good theoretical and vocational underpinning.”

Dr Tuckett said the courses will also provide graduates with the capacity to pre-empt and respond to changes as they emerge in the ‘soon to be’ reformed aged care system of the future.

Topics covered in the Graduate Certificate in Aged Care Management and Master of Nursing in Aged Care Management courses include industry-specific financial modelling, planning and performance; service delivery theory and models, along with current and future workforce issues.

“The skills required to manage a community centre or aged care facility are very different to the skills care staff need in their day-to-day work.

“…There’s a group of people who are either in the [aged care management] positions or find themselves, naturally and quite rightly, moving into these positions. So we need some kind of bedrock to give them a theoretical basis upon which they can then move forward, improve their work practices and strive ahead within their organisation.

“Ultimately, you would hope what you would then get are good work practices and good managers who are able to manage good people. Happy workers result in good quality care outcomes.”

The Master of Nursing in Aged Care Management has been designed for current and emerging nurse managers who require knowledge and skills in contemporary management and their application to the aged care and community sector.

The new Graduate Certificate in Aged Care Management aims to enable aged and community care nurses to effectively assess and respond to emerging health planning and management issues.

The courses were the brainchild of Blue Care’s Residential Services Director, Richard Olley, who approached the University of Queensland/Blue Care Research and Practice Development Centre and the UQ School of Nursing and Midwifery to develop and see it to fruition.

The need for this kind of postgraduate education “was actually identified by the industry prior to the release of the Productivity Commission report”.

“So one of the benefits of delivering it is that we know we are working with an organisation that is well and truly aware of what is needed in the sector.

“Through our link with Blue Care we have been able to ensure the course has both theory and vocational elements giving it a strong practical focus on the day-to-day operation of an aged care service.”

Dr Tuckett encourages prospective students from around the country to apply for mid-year entry and study online (distance or otherwise) next semester.

He also suggests that students investigate possible scholarship opportunities such as the round usually on offer by the Royal College of Nursing Australia, every year.  
For more information about the course, contact the UQ School of Nursing and Midwifery on 07 3381 1165.

Tags: anthony-tuckett, blue-carescholarships, midwifery, nurses, rcna, richard-olley, royal-college-of-nursing, uq,

2 thoughts on “Managing career aspirations

  1. This is a great initative.
    I completed a Graduate Certificate in Aged Care Management in 2000 which was a joint project between the University of Newcastle and Baptist Community Servcies. It was very targeted and worthwhile.

  2. Hi

    I am currently a Quality Manager RN in aged care and would find this course very useful. I have management and business qualifications but not specific to aged care which is very complex.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *