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  • Sharon Timms

    TropicNow journalist

    Email Sharon Timms

    North Queensland hospitals benefit from increased graduate nursing numbers

    Population growth in North Queensland has fuelled the need to increase the number of new graduate nurses employed in the hospital network, contributing to a healthy nurse-to-patient ratio in the region.

    41 registered nurses and 3 midwives were welcomed to the Cairns and Hinterland Hospital and Health Service this week as part of the new graduate recruitment program.

    Since 2012, there has been a 37 per cent increase in the number of individual nurses working across the CHHHS, well exceeding legislated nurse-to-patient ratios as a response to the changing healthcare requirements of the community.

    CHHHS Director of Nursing and Midwifery Andrea O’Shea said this is the second intake of registered nurses and midwives for 2018, with the graduate recruitment process redesigned to two intakes per year – January and May - enabling a more structured approach.

    “This means we can offer our new starters a comprehensive orientation program together,” said Ms O'Shea.

    The new nurses will be employed on a 12-month contract, working in areas such as Intensive Care, Medical and Surgical Wards or one of the region's smaller hospitals.

    “Graduates will be supported by staff including Clinical Facilitators, Nurse Educators and Nurse Preceptors to ensure they get the most out of their first year in their new professions,” continued Ms O'Shea.

    The majority of graduates gained their qualifications through James Cook University and Central Queensland University, with the recruitment for 2019 graduates commencing via the Queensland Government Graduate Portal on 24 July 2018.