Nurse Taster -An immersion Workshop for High School students

Mrs Ann-Marie Brown1, Dr Linda Jones

1University Of Tasmania, Launceston, Australia



Nursing is the largest single health profession in Australia and is confronted with significant challenges related to the ability to attract individuals to the profession.

The average age of the Registered Nurse in Tasmania is 44.1 years of age. At the University of Tasmania (UTAS), less than 45% of all students currently undertaking the Bachelor of Nursing are under the age of 19 years.  These statistics identify an issue in the difficulty of attracting high school leavers into university and into nursing specifically.

An opportunity for providing a way of attracting school leavers into the nursing profession would be the development of a ‘Nurse Taster Workshop’ for high school students.

Programs such as this have been shown to be successful in the United States and as there are no such workshops like this in Australia, Nurse Taster workshops will be piloted at UTAS.


Students from several schools in years 10-12 participated in a nurse taster workshop which was evaluated at the end. Further information regarding the student’s career preference and demographics was obtained.


This paper will present the details of the pilot workshop as well as the evaluation of several workshops that have been undertaken.


It is anticipated that the evaluation will not only suggest some changes that are needed for the workshop itself, but will help to determine if a program, such as Nurse Taster Workshops, will positively influence students to pursue a career in nursing.


I have been a registered nurse for over 35 years and an academic for over 20 years. I have worked at universities in Sydney, rural NSW, Victoria and University of Tasmania. I have also maintained my clinical practice throughout my academic career.

My main teaching interests are acute care nursing, emergency nursing, drug calculations and acute paediatric nursing. I developed the international placement experience at Charles Sturt University and the University of Tasmania.

My Masters degree researched mathsphobias – the fear of drug calculation assessment and undertaking my PhD researching enablers and barriers of high school students undertaking nursing.