Despite a challenging 2020, La Trobe Shepparton Campus's 68 nursing students have passed with flying colours, with all securing graduate positions.
Of those, a whopping 32 students have obtained graduate positions at Goulburn Valley Health.
Shepparton campus head of nursing Yangama Jokwiro said last year had proved difficult for students.
“COVID restrictions forced this cohort of nursing students to very quickly transition from face-to-face learning to online learning,” he said.
“We are so proud that our students took this transition in their stride, graduated with very good grades and met all their requirements at GV Health.”
Mr Jokwiro said GV Health had played a “big part” in supporting students to transition through a difficult year.
“Some have had the valuable opportunity to participate in the COVID Surge Workforce at GV Health, which has given them excellent exposure and insight into hospital COVID responses,” he said.
All up, GV Health has welcomed 58 nurses into its graduate nursing program this year, the second year running the hospital has welcomed a graduate nursing cohort of this size.
“We are moving towards providing new services, as well as increasing our capacity to deliver existing services, as GV Health continues to grow,” GV Health director of nursing and midwifery education Cathy Scott said.
“We are actively recruiting higher numbers of staff to multiple areas in order for the health service to meet the requirements outlined in the GV Health Workforce Plan.”
The graduate nurses will be working in a variety of areas including mental health, midwifery and general nursing.
“Graduate nurses work all across the organisation including the wards, rural campuses and in the primary health and community programs,” Ms Scott said.
“Each graduate will complete three rotations throughout the year, allowing them to be exposed to a variety of areas and providing them the opportunity to develop a diverse range of practical clinical skills that can be utilised throughout their nursing career.”
In addition to GV Health, some students have secured positions at other small regional hospitals in Kyabram, Numurkah, Cobram, Benalla and Kilmore.
Others will be venturing out further to metropolitan Melbourne, Warrnambool and Queensland.
“This has been a year like no other,” La Trobe Shepparton nursing lecturer Jenny Bassett said.
“Even through this very difficult year, all our graduates have found positions — that’s exciting.
“It provides confidence . . . to anyone commencing or returning to study nursing at our campus, that there is a job at the end of their study.”
This article first appeared in Shepparton News 6th January 2021