THE OPPORTUNITY to gain experience in four different wards at Queanbeyan Hospital has made it a popular choice among nursing graduates.
Graduates rotate between the medical/surgical, theatre and emergency wards. They also do a stint at Braidwood Hospital where there is a small hospital attached to an aged care facility.
Acting nurse manager of medical/surgical ward, Carolina Corey said it was a good system to get the graduates familiar with various areas of the hospital.
"The graduates get exposed to different sides and faces of Queanbeyan Hospital, they get a taste what they might like and not like because you really don't know until you get here," she said.
Mrs Corey confirmed there was a wait list to get into the Queanbeyan Hospital program but wasn't sure of a specific reason.
"We did see a high-demand from new graduates this time but there are limited spots on offer," she said. "We're lucky to have such a high interest, we had fantastic applicants and we've welcomed some really good new graduates."
Five graduates were accepted this year including Natalie Wilson and Meghan Pick both from Southern Cross University and local Jerrabomberra woman Amanda Sibley who studied at ACU in Canberra.
They agree the chance to experience different sections of Queanbeyan Hospital made it an appealing option.
"There's the opportunity to build your skills in different areas," Miss Pick said. "Some hospitals offer just one or two rotations so you only get the opportunity to do that."
Ms Wilson first rotation has been in the emergency ward and she said it's been great putting all the theory she's learnt into practise.
"You're quite lucky to get into an emergency ward anywhere," she said.
"It's different in emergency, there's not as long patient contact so you're looking for what could go wrong.
"It's been a massive learning curve. The first couple of days [in emergency] I was quite scared but apparently I'm holding my own."
Mrs Corey said two graduates from the previous cycle had been offered a position at the hospital.
"It all depends on vacancies," she said. It just depends on what positions come up as to who will stay."
The graduates said they enjoyed their time so far and look forward to the next twelve months.
"We're getting great experience and the staff members are so friendly and supportive. Any question we have, they'll happily answer it," Ms Wilson said.
"We've been made to feel really welcome."