New nurses keen and committed

QUEANBEYAN District Hospital has welcomed two graduate midwives to the maternity unit for the first time ever.

The two graduate midwives along with six graduate nurses recently began their year-long training at the local hospital.

Clinical nurse educator Heather Fairfax said there was a very high demand for graduate positions with the Hospital receiving "hundreds and thousands" of applications.

"We have accepted our first graduate midwives this year. The opportunity hasn't been there before," Ms Fairfax said.

"We love having the new additions. It's fabulous. It refreshes everybody and keeps us on our toes teaching the new nurses. It's very valuable to have new learners within the Hospital."

The new nurses will be put through their paces gaining experience in the medical/surgical, theatre and emergency wards by the end of the year. They will also complete a stint at Braidwood Hospital.

The graduate midwives are expected to assist in births and help with pre and ante-natal care.

Graduate nurse Claire Rooney moved from Sydney to take up her position at Queanbeyan Hospital.

The 26-year-old decided to retrain as a nurse as there were few jobs and little money in her previous career as a graphic designer.

She said nursing suited her outgoing personality and the patient interaction was rewarding.

"I've always been a people person," she said.

"It's very different [to graphic design] but you get a lot more satisfaction from your job. Knowing you've made a difference is what I really love."

Ms Fairfax said the Hospital was able to offer permanent positions to their previous intake of five graduate nurses. All but one accepted.

"There are no guarantees but if they're suitable candidates then we encourage them to apply for any vacancies," she said.

"We obviously would like to keep the nurses that we've trained ourselves."

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