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3 tips for new nurses and midwives

3 tips for new nurses and midwives

What you need to do know at the start.

If you are starting a graduate year, or a transition to practice program, or your first nursing or midwifery job – welcome to our wonderful professions.

In your first days and weeks here are three things that are useful to know from the very beginning:

1. Supports for new nurses and midwives

It is better to know you have access to two independent supports before you need them. That way you’ll be able to make contact before small, solvable setbacks become bigger, complex problems.

If you are not coping with the transition to shift work, your preceptor has raised an issue with your work or you have an employment question, ANMF grad members email our graduate and final year officer via for advice and support.

If you really are having difficulty adapting to your new working life or it has coincided with a big life event such as the death of a loved one, a relationship breakdown or financial stress you can contact the Nursing and Midwifery Health Program Victoria. The NMHPV provides free confidential counselling, support and referral for nurses and midwives, call 9415 7551.

2. ANMF provides financial support for further study

If you are considering a clinical specialty remember the Andrews Government is spending $50 million on scholarships and education to build the registered and enrolled nursing and midwifery workforce.

The government has identified the need to increase workforce capacity in midwifery, mental health nursing, maternal and child health, perioperative or perianaesthesia nursing, palliative care nursing, renal nursing, critical care nursing – intensive care, emergency and neonatal intensive care, alcohol and other drugs and aged care nursing.

As a new nurse or midwife, you may not know ANMF also provides annual grants, totalling $750,000, to help members undertake a graduate diploma or graduate certificate with preference given to the clinical areas above. To be eligible you must be a financial ANMF (Vic Branch) member for the previous two years. Keep this grant in mind as you make your five-year career plan.

3. How to influence change

If you are a new ANMF member, welcome to the union. As you start to learn about the government, political, business, community and historical influences on your everyday working life – you will realise your pay, working conditions, career structure and staffing levels have been hard fought for by nurses and midwives.

See something you want to change or improve? ANMF has a process that enables you to turn a professional, employment, safety, sustainability or social justice idea into action. Talk to your colleagues and get their support, find your workplace Job Rep or Health and Safety Rep and ask them to submit a motion for debate at our annual delegates conference. If your motion is passed by the more than 600 reps at the conference it will guide the ANMF’s direction, priorities and work.

Congratulations to all nursing and midwifery graduates who completed their final year of studies during the pandemic. If you are one of the students who supported the pandemic workforce as part of the pop-up COVID-19 testing sites or in the wards as a registered undergraduate student of nursing (RUSON), thank you for your dedication and courage.

We know far more about COVID-19 than we did at the start of 2020, but the pandemic continues to cause uncertainty. I encourage all members to welcome and support their new colleagues – encourage them to ask questions, listen to their new ideas and share your knowledge, experience and passion.