Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences

‘Beyond The Teaching Nursing Home’ Model


Further information

Project governance

The Australian Institute for Social Research (AISR) at The University of Adelaide completed a scoping study to inform “The Teaching Nursing Homes Initiative” in Supporting a Professional Aged Care Workforce” (SPACW) Program, introduced by the Department of Health and Ageing.


The scoping study describes the range of national and international models and the key characteristics of Teaching Nursing Homes. The study also states that it is difficult to establish clear definitions of the TNH from the literature, but a TNH can be defined as a residential aged care facility in which care, education and research are linked. The study also presents critical enablers and barriers to developing and maintaining Teaching Nursing Home (TNH) within the Australian context; types of partnerships; scope of health professionals engaged as well as the resource requirements for a TNH (Barnett, Abbey, Eyre, 2011).

The ‘Beyond the Teaching Nursing Home- Community Partnership of Learning and Care’ project is based on the broader principles of Teaching Nursing Homes. The project will link education of health professional students with practice and research. These elements are the known fundamental concepts of teaching nursing homes, however this project extends beyond the traditional concept of a Teaching Nursing Home as it includes a dedicated clinical learning environment (CLE). This distinctive characteristic of the project is that will engage older adults living in two co-located hostels and the surrounding independent living units with students in a dedicated learning space. Students will participate in clinical learning activities within the clinical learning environment and also participate in clinical care activities in the hostel and independent living environment.

The CLE provides dedicated space for clinical teaching including ward areas, clinical observation area, podiatry clinics and general practice clinic and nurse practitioner clinic. The project provides the opportunity for nursing (Registered and Enrolled nursing students), medicine and podiatric medicine students to engage with older adults to understand their specific health needs and contribute to their care.

Structured clinical learning activities are an important part of project where older adults are active participants in student learning, contributing to the development of the activities and the student assessment process. For the students participating in learning within this model it provides not only the opportunity to work with older adults in an aged care environment to understand the care needs of older adults but for students to utilise this knowledge and practice in care of older adults in other settings.

This model recognises the importance of supporting and educating all levels of aged care staff who are supporting students learning additional to their care delivery roles. Courses in Physical Assessment for Registered Nurses in Aged Care, and Preceptoring in Aged care have already been undertaken, and courses directed for care workers to support students are currently being developed.

The Beyond the Teaching Nursing Home- Community Partnership of Learning and Care’ has been developed from a partnership between the University of Western Australia and the Bethanie Group. Bethanie is one of the leading and largest aged care providers in Western Australia and offers a variety of aged care services including Retirement Villages, Affordable Housing, Adult Day Centres, Community (At Home) Care, Wellness Centres and Residential Aged Care services comprising Hostels and Nursing Homes.

Barnett K, Abbey J & Eyre J (2011) Implementing the Teaching Nursing Homes Initiative: Scoping Study, Australian Institute for Social Research, The University of Adelaide.