Interprofessional graduate programme for nursing-paramedicine degree graduates: work outcomes and participant experience

The 2011/12 interprofessional graduate programme (IPG) was Australia's first programme for graduates of double degrees in nursing and paramedicine. Aims: The aim of this study was to examine the employment outcomes and participant experience of the first cohort of 10 IPG participants. Methods: Data were collected by repeated surveys (6 months prior to, 6 months and 18 months following IPG completion) and interviews. Results: There were 10 IPG participants, nine completed all surveys and nine agreed to be interviewed. Two were males and the average age was 23.7 years (SD=1.3). At IPG completion, all participants were employed by Ambulance Victoria: five participants were working casual shifts in emergency nursing. Themes related to career choice were that casual employment was easier in nursing and paramedicine had higher levels of freedom and more regular shift patterns. Mean scores for involvement decreased (<i>p</i>&lt;0.018) and manager control increased (<i>p</i>&lt;0.018). The four themes related to participant experience were: i) best of emergency health care; ii) knowledge and experience; iii) understanding and respect; and iv) chopping and changing. Conclusions: Participants' experience of IPG were mostly positive. Traditional professional and industrial structures still prevent double degree graduates using their skills and knowledge to their full capability.

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