TAFE Queensland's Alexandra Hills campus is about to get a $10 million boost which will offer more nursing courses and help solve the need for more nurses to care for the region's aging population.
The Redlands is experiencing a skills shortage of healthcare workers - particularly in retirement and aged living as well as disability services.
To address the issue and provide the skills, TAFE Queensland, the state government and Redland City Council is offering expanded nursing qualifications at the Alexandra Hills campus.
The Queensland government has pledged more than $10 million dollars to ensure the campus will get more courses and new facilities.
TAFE Queensland student, Felina Diamond, 35, studied at the TAFE Queensland Alexandra Hills campus where she graduated as an enrolled nurse last year, having completed a Diploma of Nursing.
The diploma qualifies a person to work as an enrolled nurse as opposed to a registered nurse who is someone who has finished their degree and takes on more patient respnsibility
Ms Diamond chose Alexandra Hills over university because of the smaller class sizes, more intimate learning environment and personal contact with teaching staff.
"I didn't want to get lost in the crowd," Ms Diamond said. "Alexandra Hills appealed to me because of its smaller classes and I knew that would be right for me.
"Teachers knew my name and would spend their lunch breaks with me going over content."
Ms Diamond said she had received the best education possible.
"Everyone actually wanted to be here on campus," she said. "I've always struggled studying and was worried about the support I would get from my peers and teachers, but everyone was always so passionate.
"I didn't care I commuted an hour each way from the Gold Coast. I was where I wanted to be."
Ms Diamond said employment opportunities flowed, with her winning a job at a mental health facility a month after graduation.
TAFE Queensland general manager (Brisbane region) Paul Wilson said experiences like Ms Diamond's
were indicative of TAFE Queensland graduate's high employment rates.
"The biggest worry for graduates is always future employment," Dr Wilson said. "Although the demand for practical jobs such as nursing is increasing TAFE Queensland provides competent, confident and industry ready workers that employers readily embrace."
Ms Diamond said she would recommend going to the Alexandra Hills campus to anyone.
"My teachers were always compassionate and had a wealth of knowledge. They gave me real-time insights into nursing, helping me decide where and what I wanted to do in my field. I felt sure in myself and sure in TAFE Queensland's ability to prepare me.
"I was nervous as to how I would go outside of graduation, but I realised the practical skills and theory I learnt immediately became second nature in the work place."