Calvary Riverina provides the ideal pathway for nurse graduates

A supportive environment and career development opportunities are the reasons the latest cohort of nurse graduates chose Calvary Riverina Hospital.

Of the ten nurses currently completing the Calvary OnePlus Graduate Nurse Program, nine have already accepted permanent positions at the hospital for next year. From the 2022 cohort, 14 of the 17 nurse graduates are still at Calvary Riverina following their placement.

Meet Amy Hewitt

Current nurse graduate Amy Hewitt grew up in Sydney but decided to begin her nursing career in Wagga Wagga.

“The opportunities Calvary has afforded me are the reason I’ve chosen to stay here,” Amy said.

“I wouldn’t have been able to get a theatre role in the big city and that was what I really wanted to do.”

Amy fell in love with the Riverina after undertaking her studies at Charles Sturt University in Wagga Wagga. Being able to do a job she loved, where she had already made a home was everything she could ask for.

“Everyone says nursing is about helping people but, I think being a theatre nurse is the ability to be hands on and involved in the patient’s journey. It can be such a big moment for the patient, for example a joint replacement is life changing,” Amy said.

“If there’s a particular area that you want to work in, I strongly encourage you to consider a position at a regional hospital. There are so many opportunities to grow and pursue your passion.”

About the Program

The Calvary OnePlus Graduate Nurse Program hones in on individuality, with every ward’s educator working with the graduates to provide support every step of the way.

Calvary Riverina Hospital Graduate Nurse Transition Program Coordinator, Tania O’Hanlon, said Calvary Riverina Hospital prided itself on staff being approachable.

“Every day in nursing is different because the care of a patient can change in an instant. We teach our graduates what is normal and then we focus on the abnormal,”

“On top of that, every ward is different. The graduate nurses, no matter what shift they’re working, have someone they know able to help them, answer their questions and support them.”

“We have had really positive feedback from the students who have completed their placement with us because we allow them to experience a variety of practices on the ward. This not only allows them to learn new skills, but gives them the freedom to work out what field is their passion.”

The Calvary OnePlus Graduate Nurse Program also takes into account previous experience, encouraging the graduates to build on their knowledge and skills.

Meet Olivia Herbert

Olivia Herbert is a June-born graduate who previously worked in aged care.

“I started working at an aged care home when I was straight out of school and then I began my training to progress my career. I actually got some experience in theatre during that training and that was when I decided I wanted to become a theatre nurse,” Olivia said.

“I feel as if nursing is a career you need to jump into with both feet. It is hard work but it is so rewarding helping people at their most vulnerable or difficult time, and Wagga is the perfect place to do it.”

The two graduates are months away from completing their placement, and both are looking forward to staying with Calvary Riverina Hospital.

The hospital will welcome 12 new nurse graduates in February.