EGHS Graduate Nurse Program proves a success

East Grampians Health Service has a lot to be excited about in regards to recruiting and retaining qualified Registered Nurses. After a very successful Nurse Graduate Program in 2013, all four graduate nurses were eager to remain employed at EGHS and were all fortunate to gain permanent employment across the various clinical departments including In-Patient Unit, Peri-Operative Unit and 70 Lowe St Aged Care facility.

East Grampians Health Service Education Manager, Mrs Heather Phillips said “The Graduate Nurse Program provides recently graduated nurses with the opportunity to rotate through different areas of the health service, providing them with a comprehensive overview of the many facets of nursing. This year, EGHS were fortunate enough to be able to offer 5 new Registered Nurses the opportunity to participate in their graduate nurse program.”

 Mrs Phillips commented that Jessica Williamson and Rebecca Kirsopp graduated from Australian Catholic University, Ballarat; Joanne Collins and Louise Westrup both up-skilled from an Endorsed Enrolled Nurse graduating from Federation University, Ballarat and Sally Price graduated from Latrobe University, Bundoora.

Mrs Phillips highlighted that “one of these positions was designated for a Registered Nurse who had graduated with a double degree in Nursing-Midwifery, having the opportunity to rotate through both acute and midwifery departments, gaining the skills and knowledge required in both clinical areas. We are pleased Sally Price has taken the position.”

They have also had the opportunity to swap with another graduate nurse-midwife from Ballarat Health Services (BHS), Hannah Allen who also graduated from Latrobe University, Bundoora, for a 12 week rotation in their midwifery department, offering a rural experience for the graduate nurse from BHS. Mrs Allen said “this is a new program that EGHS now offer and has proven to be a very good learning exercise.”

Mrs Phillips highlighted “The other four graduate nurses have had the opportunity to rotate through various clinical areas including District Nursing, In-Patient Unit, Peri-Operative Unit and 70 Lowe St aged care facility. They are also provided with the opportunity to attend study days during the year, with some of the topics of their training including Aged and Palliative Care, Clinical Skills Workshop, Early Recognition of the Deteriorating Patient, Mental Health Workshop, Clinical Support and Supervision and Introduction into Clinical Team Leadership.”

East Grampians Health Service Chief Executive, Mr Nick Bush said “It is excellent to have all previous graduate nurse from 2013 staying locally and we have another outstanding group this year.” Mr Bush said “teaching and training is critical for EGHS to offer a skilled and caring nursing workforce.”

photo L – R Hannah Allen, Sally Price, Suzanna Rice (Clinical Support Nurse/Educator), Louise Westrup, Rebecca Kirsopp, Kate Pitcher (Clinical Support Nurse/Educator), , Joey Collins and Jess Williamson.