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Support key to WA’s Transition to Practice program

8 Aug 2022

Making the transition from city and regional hospital settings to rural and remote health practice offers huge benefits to career nurses and midwives. But the experience can leave nurses, especially new graduates, feeling out of their depth. WA Country Health Service (WACHS) provide a Transition to Practice program which aims to support nurses on their journey.

Hands-on expe­ri­ence in spe­cial­ty areas such as emer­gency is an oppor­tu­ni­ty rarely offered to city and region­al nurs­es in their first years after graduation. 

A WACHS’ pro­gram in WA is delib­er­ate­ly tar­get­ing new grad­u­ates and the ben­e­fits are being felt by both the par­tic­i­pants and six par­tic­i­pat­ing hos­pi­tals in the Pil­bara region. The pro­gram was intro­duced two years ago and focus­es on encour­ag­ing clin­i­cal capa­bil­i­ty and confidence.

The expe­ri­ence the par­tic­i­pat­ing nurs­es gain often places them in a com­pet­i­tive posi­tion when they look to progress into more senior roles, says Region­al Direc­tor Nurs­ing and Mid­wifery Yvonne Bagwell.

Our pro­gram has been designed to edu­cate, men­tor, and invest in our nurs­es from the very begin­ning and upskill them by pro­vid­ing a vari­ety of oppor­tu­ni­ties to learn,” WACHS Pil­bara says.

Sup­port­ed by clin­i­cal experts and edu­ca­tors, includ­ing senior clin­i­cal nurse man­agers, the pro­gram gives new­ly qual­i­fied nurs­es access to a broad­er scope of care. 

This is how new­ly qual­i­fied reg­is­tered nurse, Eli Fos­ter, work­ing at Roe­bourne Dis­trict Hos­pi­tal, described the ini­tia­tive – as giv­ing him hands-on devel­op­ment oppor­tu­ni­ties he nev­er expected.

The Tran­si­tion to Prac­tice pro­gram offered at WACHS allowed me to gain so many skills valu­able to my prac­tice, such as can­nu­la­tion and patient-focussed assess­ments,” he says.

Eli Fos­ter, new­ly qual­i­fied nurse at Roe­bourne Dis­trict Hos­pi­tal in the Tran­si­tion to Prac­tice program.

This has helped boost my con­fi­dence to prac­tice independently.”

As a result of pos­i­tive feed­back from staff, the pro­gram has since been repli­cat­ed to oth­er clin­i­cal areas. The Peri-Oper­a­tive Tran­si­tion Pro­gram and Can­cer Ser­vices Tran­si­tion Pro­gram are both in their first year of oper­a­tion with great feed­back already received from participants.

Are you con­sid­er­ing a career in the bush or want to know more? Con­tact the WACHS Pil­bara Nurs­ing and Mid­wifery Work­force Coor­di­na­tor: wachspb_​nursingmidwiferyworkforcecoordinator@​health.​wa.​gov.​au