South West Hospital and Health Service will have 27 new nursing and midwifery graduates from this week.
The new graduates will undergo a week's orientation at Roma Hospital before dispersing to their various designated locations for their 12-month graduate program.
Once their orientation is complete, the new graduates will be assigned to the health facilities at Injune (2), Mungindi (2), Mitchell (2), Surat (2), Augathella (2), St George (2), Cunnamulla (2), Dirranbandi (2), Quilpie (2), Roma (3), Charleville (4), Waroona (1) and Westhaven (1).
South West HHS Executive Director of Nursing and Midwifery Services Chris Small says this is one of the largest single intakes of nursing and midwifery graduates accepted into the health service.
Mr Small says over the past few years, the South West HHS had been experiencing a strong level of interest from new nursing and midwifery graduates.
"I think this is reflective of the fact the South West HHS is being viewed as an increasingly attractive area in which to pursue their careers.''
"In addition, since March 2017, our 12-month graduate transition program has been endorsed by the University of Southern Queensland for two credit points towards any future course of study the graduates might want to embark upon as their careers progress.''
Mr Small said this year's new graduates included existing current South West HHS employees Anita Badgery and sisters-in-law Annabel and Jody Tully.
"Anita previously was an assistant in nursing at Westhaven Aged Care Facility in Roma, while Annabel and Jody were assistants in nursing at Quilpie, with Jody now working at Augathella,''
"I would like to commend all three on the success of their studies and the dedication and commitment they showed in pursuing their goals while continuing to work at Westhaven, Quilpie and Augathella throughout their studies," he said.
Ms Badgery has been employed at Westhaven as an assistant in nursing for the past two years, and previously worked with Anglicare for 11 years in the aged care sector.
"I am very passionate about aged care services. I wanted to continue working in the sector, but I wanted to be able to do more and be more involved in a holistic approach to delivering aged care, that's why I decided to study to upgrade my skills and become a registered nurse," Ms Badgery said.
Ms Badgery juggled the challenges of being a mother of four children and working four days a week at Westhaven, while also studying full-time externally for three years to complete her nursing degree with Central Queensland University.
"I actually did nearly five years of study because I never completed Year 10 at school, so I had to do a year and a half as part of a step-up study program before I could even start the nursing degree", she said.
"It's been some hard yards over the past few years, but I am excited to have graduated and excited to be starting out on a new career path as a registered nurse here at Westhaven, where my passion lies."
Both Annabel and Jody Tully also pursued their studies through Central Queensland University.
Annabel Tully lives on a property 85 km from Quilpie and has been working as an assistant in nursing there for the past two and a half years and had studied for four and a half years to become a registered nurse.
She says she is looking forward to starting a new stage in her career and would continue to be based at Quilpie during her 12-month graduate program.
Jody Tully lives on a property near Augathella and has been working there in administration after working as an assistant in nursing in Quilpie. She will complete her 12-month graduate program at Augathella.
"I come from a family of nurses and becoming a fully registered nurse is what I have always really wanted,'' Jodie said.
Mr Small said all the new graduates would undergo a week's orientation at Roma Hospital before dispersing to their various designated locations for their 12-month graduate program.
"These include two midwifery graduates who have been allocated to Charleville and Roma and one dual degree registered nurse/paramedic graduate who has been allocated to Augathella,'' Mr Small said.
"After each nurse and midwife graduate has completed six months at their initial location, most of them - though not all - will then swap over to another facility for the remaining six months of their 12-month graduate program."
Minister for Health and Minister for Ambulance Service Steven Miles said joining the Queensland Health team was a great chance for aspiring nurses all over the state to go straight from finishing their degrees to kickstarting their careers.
"These extra nurses will learn on the job and translate the skills they've learnt at Uni into better outcomes for patients across the South West,'' Mr Miles said.
"I'm really excited to welcome these passionate nurses to the Queensland Health team where I know they'll get the best possible start in their nursing careers.
"Across Queensland we're hiring more doctors, nurses, and ambos which means better patient outcomes, more jobs, and more opportunity for regional areas."