Twenty new nurses welcomed to the Far West LHD

The Far West LHD has welcomed 20 new Registered Nurses (RN) and a Registered Midwife (RM) to its Nursing & Midwifery workforce for 2017.

The (19) Registered Nurses and (1) Midwife will begin their nursing and midwifery careers as part of the Far West LHD Rural and Remote Transition to Professional Practice RN / RM Program, delivered by Far West LHD.

The new RNs and RMs were welcomed to the District and community by Far West LHD Executive Director of Nursing and Midwifery/ General Manager Lower Western Sector, Ms Dale Sutton.

“On behalf of the District and the Far West LHD Executive, I welcome our new nurses and midwife to our workforce. I am sure they will have an extremely enjoyable and rewarding experience with us and I wish them well.”

The Far West LHD is one of the top places new graduates seek to begin their nursing career, said Ms Sutton.

“The 2016 University roadshow undertaken annually by the NSW Nursing & Midwifery Office (NaMO) identified Far West LHD as a one of the most sought after new graduate places across the state by new graduate RN’s and RM’s.

“This is extremely pleasing and a credit to the Far West LHD and all the staff here that work hard to make the LHD a rich and rewarding place to live and work.”

The Far West LHD Transition to Professional Practice Registered Nurse / Midwife Program offers new RNs and RMs the opportunity to experience both rural and remote nursing throughout Far West LHD facilities.

“This year, the new nurses will again be placed in Broken Hill, Ivanhoe, Wilcannia, Tibooburra and Balranald. These remote placements provide the opportunity of a unique remote nursing experience of which Metropolitan programs don’t provide,” said Ms Sutton.

The 2017 Graduates will also experience clinical practice in Emergency, ICU/CCU, Medical, Surgical, Mental Health, Maternity, Community and Sub-Acute Rehabilitation.

This year is also the third year Far West LHD has participated in the Metro / Rural exchange program for new graduate RN’s with Central Coast LHD. This program provides a six month rotation to Far West LHD and a six month rotation at Gosford Hospital. This is a unique opportunity afforded to graduated nurses to gain experience from both a rural and metropolitan perspective.

This program has also been a very successful recruitment strategy for the District. A Registered Nurse who has rotated from Central Coast LHD to Far West has been recruited each year for the past three years.

Ms. Sutton said the Transition to Practice program was a unique opportunity for the nurses and midwives.

“The nurses during this time are exposed to many different clinical skills, which will enhance and consolidate their nursing knowledge.

“This opportunity is something new RN’s and RM’s in metropolitan areas would not have access to. In turn these placements foster pathways to the recruitment of staff for our remote facilities and communities,” she said.

Since the program started, the District has on average been able to retain 60 per cent of participants who have completed the program. Far West LHD has been able to retain 10 of the 16 new graduate RN’s/ RM’s who completed the 2016 program.

The 19 nurses and 1 midwife will undergo an orientation this week featuring both practical and classroom activities. They will also meet staff and mentors who will support and guide their transition from university student to responsibilities of being a RN / RM. They will begin work in their respective departments and facilities soon after.

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