The Health Service
Wimmera Health Care Group is the major teaching health service provider for the Wimmera and Southern-Mallee region. It has excellent acute and sub-acute inpatient facilities and provides care across a vast range of health disciplines including; emergency, medical, surgical, midwifery, paediatrics, intensive care, operating theatre, day procedure unit, dialysis and day oncology unit over two campuses. The health service has 80 acute beds, 20 sub-acute beds, 132 bed nursing home and hostel across both campuses.
The Graduate Nurse program comprises of three intakes each year (January, April and July) with a total of 20 graduates (eight in January, four in April and eight in July).
Participants are employed on a 54 week contract, part time at 0.8 EFT. Two weeks annual leave is designated to each graduate in the middle of the program. In extenuating circumstances annual leave may be negotiated. The program consists of both a theoretical and practical component both of which have been developed in response to the specific learning needs of graduate nurses.
Also one dual degree (Midwifery) Graduate Nurse position is available each year.
- Provide an opportunity for the graduate nurse to consolidate and integrate nursing knowledge into practice.
- Facilitate reflective practice developing a clinical judgement skill set.
- Support the graduate nurse to progressively fulfil the contemporary role of a Division 1 Registered Nurse, while maintaining the optimal work/life balance.
- Promote the personal and professional development of the graduate nurse.
The clinical component includes rotations that are three or six months in length. This means the graduate may have three or four rotations in their graduate nurse year.
Rotations may include:
Oxley – Medical/Surgical, Oncology, Rehabilitation and Psychiatry. Each graduate will spend three or six months in this area. This placement provides a sound clinical foundation on which to develop skills and knowledge.
Wyuna - Rehabilitation, GEM, TCP patients. Graduates will spend three months in this area. This placement involves working with the multidisciplinary healthcare team to provide positive patient outcomes.
Yandilla – Medical/surgical, adults and paediatrics, obstetrics, midwifery and gynaecology. Graduates spend a period of three months in this area. This area assists the graduate to not only consolidate general skills, It also provides some insight into midwifery and enables the graduate develop a specialised skill set when working with paediatric patients and their families.
Wimmera Nursing Home (Aged care): Graduates spend three months in the aged care facility. This rotation equips the graduate with sound medication knowledge. It assists the graduate to develop clinical leadership, clinical judgement, physical assessment and communication skills, it also provides the graduate with insight into holistic care of the elderly.
Theatre: Graduates spend three months in theatre, rotating through operating suite, day procedure unit and recovery. This rotation enables the graduate to gain insight into the peri-operative speciality and gain specialised skills and knowledge.
Emergency Department: Graduates spend three months in ED. This placement builds on clinical knowledge and skills. It equips the graduate with acute assessment and clinical management skills as well as providing the graduate with some insight into the speciality of critical care.
District Nursing: Graduates spend three months in District Nursing. This rotation enables the graduate to gain insight into wound management, continence assesment and hospice nursing.
Preferences and requests are considered when planning the graduate's rotations.
The theoretical component comprises of a five day orientation block at the commencement of each program and eight study days throughout the program. The study days address the identified clinical needs of the graduate nurse.
All graduate nurses will participate in a clinical risk project during their graduate year.
Graduates are assessed clinically through performance appraisals and competency attainment. The theoretical assessment involves a group clinical risk project and the development and maintenance of a professional portfolio.
Program Co-ordinators: Facilitate the delivery and co-ordination of the program, evaluate the program, facilitate clinical support for graduate nurses and assists the graduate to acquire skills and knowledge.
The extra level of support provided by two dedicated GNP Co-ordinators shows our commitment to the development of graduate nurses.
Preceptors: In each placement the graduate nurse is allocated a preceptor for the duration of the rotation.
Unit Managers: Monitor the progress of the graduate nurse during the clinical placement and offers support to the graduate when required.
Clinical Support Nurse: Assists and supports graduate nurse to acquire skills and knowledge.
Clinical Teachers: The WHCG has clinical teachers throughout the acute and residential services to provide support for all staff.
Group Debriefing Sessions: Group debriefing sessions are held on a regular basis. They provide a forum for the graduate nurse to discuss any issues relating to any aspect of the program. Some of these sessions are combined with preceptors to enable the preceptor and the graduate nurse to complete bookwork and discuss the graduate nurses progress.
Registered nurses (Division 1) who have completed a Bachelor of Nursing or Applied Science (Nursing) who are registered with the Nurses Board of Victoria as a Division 1 Registered General Nurse and who have less than one year of experience in an acute general setting and are eligible to use computer matching.
Prospective graduates must apply using the computer matching system. We also require an application prior to the date of closure for computer match. Check on computer match for the specified date: Computer Matching Online
The application should include:
- a letter of introduction
- a brief CV
- academic transcripts up to year 3 semester 1
- a list of all clinical placements
- clinical assessments from year 2 and 3
- a passport sized photo
- contacts of two professional referees (one of whom must be clinical)
- current National Police Check (certified copy)
- current Working with Children Check (certified copy).
The application is to be addressed to:
Ms Bernie Taylor - Graduate Nurse Co-ordinator
Wimmera Health Care Group
GNP open day
Each year we have an information afternoon. On this day we undertake a tour of the hospital, provide an overview of the program, answer questions and provide afternoon tea. It is a great opportunity for the prospective graduate nurse to have a look around, ask questions and meet some preceptors, nursing executive and past and present graduate nurses. The date, time and location are on the computer match information page or you can contact us directly. You need to register for this day.
Where to after the Graduate year
The Wimmera Health Care Group provides ongoing employment for its graduate nurses at the end of the program. Rotations to specialty areas, or departments not included in the program are occassionally offered on successful completion of the GNP.
The organisation has strong relationships with Deakin University (Melbourne) and the University of Ballarat and offers academic and financial support for staff wishing to pursue Post Graduate studies in:
- Critical Care
- Aged Care
- Perioperative Nursing
The hospital also provides educational programs for nurses in other specialities such as oncology, and is supportive of the development of all staff.
For more information contact our Graduate Program Co-ordinator
Phone: (03) 53819280