Starting your career as a professional nurse or midwife can be challenging and daunting. If you have a general question for our Graduate and Final Year Student Support Officer, Ruby Leppik, go to bit.ly/askGFYO
For graduates – I didn’t get to do all my rotations during my graduate year due to COVID-19 restrictions? Does this matter?
Your graduate program aims to play an important role in supporting you to transition into the role of registered nurse or midwife. Graduate programs aim to assist you to consolidate your foundational knowledge and skills and to practise independently.
These goals can be met by consolidating your practice in one clinical area; multiple rotations are not essential in achieving them. In fact, the Nursing and Midwifery Graduate Transition to Practice Programs Guidelines 2018 (Department of Health and Human Services) report that having fewer or no clinical rotations may be conducive to graduate program goals, assisting you to gain confidence with clinical skills and a greater sense of belonging within your team. This development may otherwise be interrupted each time you start a new rotation.
However, I can appreciate that missing out on a rotation that you were interested in and excited about may be disappointing. It is important to remember that your graduate year is just the beginning of your career in nursing or midwifery. You now have a solid foundation to explore a broad range of other clinical settings.
So, if you are interested in gaining experience in another clinical area, speak with the nurse unit manager or submit an application
for positions which become available.
- ANMF (Vic Branch) graduate program policy
- The Nursing and Midwifery Graduate Transition to Practice Programs Guidelines 2018 (Department of Health and Human Services, State Government of Victoria)
- Nurse and midwife graduate handbook 2020
For students – I missed out on a graduate program for 2021, what can I do?
I can appreciate that it may be disheartening to miss out on a graduate position through the Postgraduate Medical Council of Victoria (PMCV) – computer matching service process – but don’t stress, you still have options.
While graduate programs provide you with a structured and supported transition to practice, they are not mandatory. You can apply for a position as a registered nurse or midwife on merit and the attainment of your qualification, just as any other nurse or midwife would.
Apply for a broad range of positions with a variety of health services to increase your chances. Perseverance and exploring all options are key.
Strongly consider interstate and rural/regional areas, where there may be a greater need to recruit nurses and midwives. The benefits of rural/regional graduate positions can include a wide variety of clinical practice, support and attention. Check websites and contact these health services expressing your interest in the workplace.
I also recommend reviewing your cover letter, curriculum vitae and interview skills before applying for further positions. Remember, every interaction you have with a potential employer is an opportunity to make a good impression.