TWENTY-ONE first-year nursing students who have joined up with the Wide Bay Hospital and Health Service as part of the 2021 nurse graduate intake will be based on the Fraser Coast.
Some 18 student nurses are based in Bundaberg and another seven at rural facilities – bringing the intake to 46.
The seven student nurses based at rural facilities started working in December and January to meet clinical need.
WBHHS Chief Executive Debbie Carroll said having a skilled group of graduate nurses was an important part of refreshing the team and ensuring WBHHS had a nursing and midwifery team that could meet the current and future demands of local patients.
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“Recruiting enthusiastic and skilled graduate nurses boosts our team as other nurses leave our service due to retirement or other career opportunities,” Ms Carroll said.
“By attracting new graduates, we’re not only adding to our current team, but we’re investing in our future nurse leaders and senior staff who will contribute to providing quality care for our patients for years to come.
“Having a background in nursing, I’m particularly passionate about supporting our first-year nurses and giving them an opportunity to display their nursing skills, gain experience in a clinical setting, learn from senior members of the team and build a strong foundation for their careers.
“I hope many of them will enjoy long careers as part of the WBHHS team and will contribute greatly to the care of our local communities.”
WBHHS Executive Director of Nursing and Midwifery Services Fiona Sewell said the training, fresh perspectives and knowledge of the graduate nurses would complement the highly-developed skills and clinical experience of the existing nursing and midwifery team.
“We’re looking forward to the new graduates bringing their passion for patient care to our wards and becoming enthusiastic contributors to the WBHHS nursing and midwifery team,” Ms Sewell said.
“Our experienced nursing team embraces the opportunity to pass on their knowledge, experience and professional skillsets as they guide and mentor our new nurses during the early stages of their careers.
“We encourage these new members of our team to embrace our organisational values of Collaboration, Accountability, Respect, Excellence (CARE) and delivering Care Through Patients’ Eyes.
“I know they will embed those values into their everyday clinical practice and embrace the opportunity to develop their skills and experiences as they transition, and progress towards being future and confident nursing and midwifery leaders.”
Hervey Bay Hospital paediatric ward nurse Jasmine Philippa, who was part of the 2020 graduate nurse intake, encouraged the 2021 group to embrace the support and learning opportunities on offer from their fellow health professionals as they progressed along their careers.
Ms Philippa spent her first six-month rotation last year in Maryborough Hospital’s Ward 3 and her second at Hervey Bay Hospital’s paediatric ward – where she has remained, and where she is eager to continue her future nursing focus.
“My advice to incoming grad nurses is to take advantage of all the opportunities and support you’ll have – ask questions, apply yourself to the education on offer and learn as much as you can,” said Ms Philippa, who lives in Maryborough and studied at the University of the Sunshine Coast’s Hervey Bay campus.
“I’ve had great support so far, and I wasn’t afraid to ask questions. As soon as I introduced myself as a nurse grad and new staff member, I found it immediately granted me some lenience – other health professionals were really willing to offer help and support.
“This has been the best place to start my career. I’ve got a good support network at home and, because I did several student placements here as well, I already knew a number of the staff.
“And I know I want to do paediatric nursing, so it’s been excellent to get experience in this ward in particular. We see a bit of everything here, so for me it will be about taking the time to decide on which specific direction I might want to head in.”
Another group of first year nurses will also join WBHHS during its mid-year intake.