South West welcomes 34 new nurses and midwives

Read time

Image for South West welcomes 34 new nurses and midwives

South West HHS Graduate Nurse and Midwives 2024


South West HHS welcomes 34 new nurses and midwives in February 2024

A total of 32 new nursing and two new midwifery graduates start their careers with the South West Hospital and Health Service next week (19 February).

South West HHS Executive Director of Nursing and Midwifery Services Chris Small said this year’s February graduate intake of 34 was one more than last year and a new February record for the health service.

“I believe this year’s intake is reflective of the strong ongoing interest among graduates in joining the health service.

“We hope to accept a further smaller intake in August,’’ he said.

The overall 2023 nurse graduate intake – including the February and August intakes – was a record for the South West HHS, with a total of 44 new graduates taken on during the course of the year, and 2024 could be another big intake year.

“It’s wonderful to be welcoming these new graduates to the region and I’m sure that they will enjoy rewarding careers,’’ Mr Small said.

All 34 new graduates undergo a week’s orientation at Roma Hospital before being assigned to health facilities throughout the region.

“They will then work in a variety of areas, including acute medical, surgical, emergency, maternity, aged care, community and primary health and supporting the hospital-based ambulance in the facilities where these are located,’’ Mr Small said.

“The size of this year’s intake indicates just how our attractive the health service is being viewed by new graduates as an area in which to pursue their careers.’’

Mr Small said the South West HHS’s 12-month graduate program had been reviewed last year and was now aligned with the endorsed graduate certificate level by Central Queensland University for the graduates’ future career pathway.

New nurse graduate Bridget Struber is a Roma native who is undertaking her graduate year at Roma Hospital where she will be rotating through various areas in the Perioperative Department.

“I graduated from the University of the Sunshine Coast with a Bachelor of Nursing Science in 2023,’’ she said.

“In my final year, UniSC offered a versatile learning approach, where my final theory subjects were delivered online.

“This enabled me to return to Roma and work throughout various departments of the Roma Hospital as an Assistant in Nursing.

“The Country University Centre in Roma also enabled successful completion of my degree, through utilisation of their quiet study environment, academic resources and learning advisors.

“I will continue to utilise the great resources offered at CUC throughout the year to complete my graduate nursing certificate.’’

Ms Struber said she was excited to have returned to Roma.

“I believe the familiarity of the rural lifestyle, friendly community and social country activities, in conjunction with the supportive members of the healthcare team at the Roma Hospital will ensure a healthy work/life balance,’’ she said.

“I look forward to being a member of a health service that provides a diverse range of services to rural communities.’’

Ms Struber said she chose to work within the South West Hospital and Health Service as she had a strong interest in contributing to the delivery of high quality healthcare to regional and remote communities.

“Having worked as an Assistant in Nursing at the Roma Hospital, I have seen the clinical and educational guidance, support and encouragement that graduate RNs receive,’’ she said.

“The South West provides vast learning opportunities, support and skill acquisition to successfully consolidate theory to practice.’’

Ms Struber said she was inspired to take up nursing as a career because it was a caring profession.

“Like my most nurses, I like helping people and being able to build relationships with patients to ensure they feel comfortable and cared for during their toughest times,’’ she said.

“Nursing in a rural hospital allows for exposure to vast clinical conditions, and skill and knowledge development.’’

New nurse graduate Jamie Whitney also is a Roma local who will be working at Roma Hospital during his graduate year and undertaking rotations in different departments, including the Inpatient Unit, Emergency Department and Aged Care.

As a Roma local, I wanted to stay and work in the area,’’ he said.

“My mother’s side of the family has always lived in the area going back to my great grandmother in the Mungallala area.

“It was my past experiences of being a patient during hospitalisations as a child that inspired me to become a nurse.

“I learned that nurses do more than take blood pressure and give medications; they are there to support and care for their patients during the most difficult times of their lives.

“Nurses tailor the care they provide to each patient, whilst advocating for the patient’s rights and choices.’’

Mr Whitney completed his nursing degree with the University of Southern Queensland.

“I chose to complete my studies online as this allowed more opportunities to continue working, whilst giving me the flexibility to adjust my study schedule to suit my needs at the time,’’ he said.

’Rural and remote nursing is my main area of interest.

This stems from the inherent challenges faced in the provision of care within the rural and remote setting. I find rural and remote nursing allows for a broad skill set to be developed and more autonomy in the nursing scope of practice, which is very satisfying.

“At present, there are three specific fields that I find interesting: emergency nursing, palliative care and wound care.

“I would like to gain more exposure and experience to all areas though, before I decide on one.’’

Mr Small said the South West HHS was committed to providing training opportunities for graduate nurses and midwives.

“There’s no denying how important nurses are in our community and to our health service,’’ Mr Small said.

“Nurses make up almost 50 per cent of our health service workforce; they provide care at almost every stage of our lives across our GP clinics, our hospitals and in the community.

“I wish each and every one of the nurses starting over the next few weeks the best of luck as they embark on this next stage of their careers.”

  • The 32 new nurse graduates initially will be posted to Roma Hospital (8), three each to Westhaven and Waroona, two each to Charleville, Augathella, Cunnamulla, Quilpie, Mungindi, Surat, Mitchell, and St George, and one each to Dirranbandi and Injune.

  • The two midwives will be posted initially to Roma and St George.