11 new nurse graduates join Central West Health

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Nine of the new nurse graduates starting this week.

Eleven new nursing graduates start work with Central West Hospital and Health Service from 7 August.

Central West Health Executive Director of Nursing and Midwifery Services Karlee Quin said this brought the year’s intake to 23, with the 12 graduates taken on in February.

Ms Quin said this year’s overall annual intake of 23 was the second largest annual intake of nursing graduates after last year’s (2022) record 36-graduate intake.

The previous second largest annual intake of nurses and midwives was a total of 22 in 2018 – with 13 being taken on in February of that year, followed by a further nine in mid–year.

Ms Quin said the 11 new August graduates would be allocated three each to the Longreach and Blackall hospitals and Barcaldine Multipurpose Health Service and two to Winton Multipurpose Health Service.

“Graduates will work in the clinical areas of acute medical, surgical, emergency,’’ she said.

“After six months at their initial location, they will then have the opportunity to work in another facility for six months. Longreach will rotate with Winton and Blackall will rotate with

“They will be able to learn on the job and translate the skills they’ve learnt at university into better outcomes for patients across our region.’’

Ms Quin said Central West Health was regarded as an attractive area for new nurses and midwives to launch their careers.

“We are very excited to welcome our new graduates as they began their careers,’’ she said.

“As a health service, we are committed to providing training opportunities for graduate nurses, as well as midwives. They are an important part of our team, and we value the contribution they will make to our health service and to the communities in which they will live.’’

New graduate Georgia Smith, who is from Toowoomba, was prompted to apply for a nursing position in the Central West after completing a placement at Charleville Hospital as part of her nursing studies with the University of Southern Queensland in Toowoomba.

“The placement in Charleville really solidified my desire to go rural because it was awesome,’’ she

Georgia followed the Charleville placement with further rural placements at Chinchilla, Warwick and Dirranbandi which made her even more committed to a rural nursing career.

“I’ve always had the desire to do something in healthcare so I thought nursing would be a good
start and see where it takes me, whether further studies or something else,’’ she said.

Georgia will do her first six-month rotation at Winton Multipurpose Health Service, before
transferring to Longreach Hospital for the second six months of her graduate program.

Gold Coast resident Johanna Clark, who did her nursing degree at Queensland University of
Technology in Brisbane, also will be starting her nursing career in the Central West.

She will be doing an initial six-month placement at Blackall Hospital before rotating to Barcaldine
Multipurpose Health Service.

“I haven’t any experience in a rural area before and hadn’t thought about a career in rural nursing at all initially,’’ she said.

“But then I saw what was available through the graduate nursing program offered in the Central West and thought what a great experience it offered.

“I’m really looking forward to learning about the community and being able to help people.’’

Johanna has already been immersing herself in the Central West lifestyle for the past three months working at the Alpha Multipurpose Health Service while waiting to formally start the graduate nurse program.

She said she had been inspired to become a nurse because her mother had experienced a number of health issues.

“Watching how the nurses cared for her, their compassion and their dedication, I just knew that I wanted to do the same and help to look after people and make their lives better,’’ she said.

Ms Quin said the 12-month graduate transition program for new nurses and midwives involved
theoretical and practical assessments.

“Graduate nurses and midwives are provided support and mentorship by experienced staff to help make the transition from studying at university to life in the workforce,’’ she said.

“They have chosen a rewarding and fulfilling profession that provides many pathways for career development and is a fabulous way of serving the community in which we live.

“We hope their first year of practice in the Central West will open their eyes to the opportunities and diverse range of professional experiences available in our region and opt to continue their career with us in the future.’’