Forty-six enthusiastic first-year nurses have joined Wide Bay Hospital and Health Service team as part of the 2021 nurse graduate intake.
In total 18 of the first-year nurses will be based in Bundaberg, 21 on the Fraser Coast and seven at rural locations.
The majority of the new graduates are completing their orientation this week at Bundaberg and on the Fraser Coast, while seven of the first-year nurses started at rural facilities during 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.
“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.”
Graduates join forces with whole team
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.”
Beginning of an exciting career path
Bundaberg Hospital emergency department nurses Amy Wedemeyer and Riley Castelli, who were part of the 2020 graduate nurse intake, encouraged the 2021 group to embrace the support on offer from their fellow nurses and to continuously learn as they progressed along their careers.
“I was so excited to start as a graduate – it was unbelievable to get into emergency. It’s been a year full of growth and I’ve absolutely loved it every day,” Ms Wedemeyer said.
“The nursing team are all so encouraging and supportive. If you don’t know something, then they are there to nurture you and guide you – everyone is more than happy to help you. You always feel that someone has your back.”
Ms Castelli added that starting off as a graduate in unfamiliar surroundings was challenging but she “very quickly felt supported”.
“The teamwork and support has just been amazing, and we’re never afraid to ask questions,” Ms Castelli said.
“The mentoring by other staff has been incredibly important, especially learning from their experiences – the things they have done, the mistakes they have made, seeing how they do it.”
Both nurses are now part of the transition program in emergency that will see them progress along a career path towards the resuscitation and trauma team, but they said there were many other options available to new nurses.
Another group of first year nurses will also join WBHHS during its mid-year intake.