Nursing double degrees: a higher education initiative in times of nursing shortages

Noelene Hickey*, Jennifer Sumsion, Linda Harrison

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Objective The aim of this paper is to raise awareness of nursing double degrees (DD) and pose questions about their possible impact on nursing shortages. Setting Nursing education in the Australian higher education sector. Primary argument DDs that include nursing are now offered in 13 universities in Australia with over one third of undergraduate nursing students studying by DD mode. The paper argues that the nursing profession should be alert to the growing presence of DD nursing students and graduates and consider the implications of DDs as part of future workforce planning. Conclusions To take account of DD graduates who do not choose to take up a career in nursing, there needs to be an increase in Australian Government funded nursing places and more incentives to remain in nursing. Additionally, where a DD includes a second professional qualification (e.g. teaching, paramedicine) there needs to be some relaxation of cross professional regulations and scopes of practice so that DD graduates can practice in both disciplines.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)52-59
Number of pages8
JournalAustralian Journal of Advanced Nursing
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • double degrees
  • nursing shortages
  • nursing education


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