HYBRID EVENT: You can participate in person at London, UK or Virtually from your home or work.

International Nursing Science Conference

August 21-23, 2023 | London, UK

August 21 -23, 2023 | London, UK
Nursing Science 2023

Eileen Petrie

Eileen Petrie, Speaker at Nursing Science Congress
Charles Sturt University, Australia
Title : Recruitment and retention into mental health nursing workforce; Student work integrated learning experience influencing graduate preparedness


Work Integrated Learning (WIL) is an educational strategy that provides students with experiences in real health workplaces facilitating student competencies and capabilities development. It is supervised, purposeful, situated, and contextual within nursing industry partnerships having behavioural, constructivist, cognitive and humanistic theoretical underpinnings. This better prepares students to graduate transitioning to nursing employment through the extensive development of workplace readiness progressing in maturity and autonomy through acknowledgement of past learnings, reflection, and the influence this may have on future learnings.

Activity: Exploration of undergraduate nursing students’ perceptions of their work integrated learning (WIL) experiences was undertaken for students enrolled in a Bachelor of nursing at regional university. Factors that shape student learning during WIL were examined. Data was collected via an online survey. 

Significance: It is essential to identify factors that influence student satisfaction with WIL to inform curriculum development and industry engagement. Nursing professional practice demands developing a wide range of competencies in undergraduate nursing students to ensure graduates are safe and effective practitioners. This calls for the design of practical and authentic learning experiences in undergraduate programs. The reduction of dedicated Mental Health Clinical Placements is reducing the specific learnings for this specialty area.

Impact: Nursing student placement experiences, engagement, and learning influence the development of the student nurse into a workplace ready graduate. Clinical learning requires a unique combination of workplace and university capabilities. By examining student experiences in this contested space, we aimed to ensure the quality and competence of the future nursing workforce. Effective teaching strategies must be considered when introducing adult learners to the requisite varied learning experiences in nursing education. Learning is not isolated within the individual’s mental processing; it is affected by the cultural, political, physical, and social dynamic components of the person’s existence thus providing a basis for socio-constructivist learning. As the student progresses with the level of education and, the influences of WIL experiences in various organisations over the years of the degree, the student will move from the novice to competency in their transition to graduate practice.


Eileen commenced her nursing career as a generalist nurse at St Vincent's Hospital Melbourne Australia and followed through with her Basic Psychiatric Nursing qualifications at Mayday Hills Hospital, Victoria Australia. Since qualifying as a Registered Psychiatric Nurse, she worked for 10 years in the psychiatric clinical setting. She has attained the degrees in Post Graduate Diploma in Community Psychiatric Nursing (La Trobe University), Master of Nursing Science (La Trobe University), PhD (Adelaide University) and Graduate Certificate Higher Education Teaching and Learning (Charles Sturt University). Eileen has been appointed as a Senior Fellow Higher Education Academy UK. Eileen has been in Academia since 2002 as a Senior Lecturer La Trobe University Victoria Australia; Assistant Professor University of Canberra Australian Capital Territory Australia; and Lecturer Charles Sturt University New South Wales Australia. She has achieved national and international publications and conference speaking. Eileen's roles within the University sector include Clinical Director of Nursing, Masters Coursework Coordinator, Honours Coordinator, Post Graduate Mental Health Subject Coordinator, Coordinator Bachelor of Nursing Mental Health Major, Promoting Mental Health, Child and Adolescent Nursing, and Psychiatric Geriatric Nursing. Her lecturing component includes lecturing into all levels of Undergraduate, Postgraduate and Higher Degree levels. Eileen's area of research expertise is in Action Research and examined stressors in rural and remote community mental health teams which contribute to workplace burnout using this methodology for her PhD.