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Record number of graduate nurses and midwives take on next career chapter

Published:  07 February 2020

A record 151 graduate nurses and midwives will kick off their careers with the Townsville Hospital and Health Service in the coming weeks, with the first group of 71 officially hitting the floor next Monday.

Registered nurses Taylor Bendall and Paul Haughton will both complete their graduate year in the Townsville University Hospital’s emergency department after graduating from James Cook University last year.

Taylor said her desire to become a nurse was triggered from personal experience.

“I waited a few years after finishing high school before starting nursing, but the real push for me came after my father passed away,” she said.

“I spent a lot of time at Townsville University Hospital with my mum and my grandmother while my dad was in oncology.

“The nurses who cared for my loved ones made such a difference to not only their patient, but also to the families at the bedside.

“That’s so important to me because caring for others is a nurse’s ultimate goal.”

Taylor said prior to her placement last year, she hadn’t considered a career in the emergency department.

“In ED you really have an opportunity to make an impact on people and change the story of the worst day of their lives,” Taylor said.

“During my placement I fell in love with ED nursing; It’s challenging and it’s diverse.”

For Paul, nursing came after an established career in the defence forces.

“I needed a change of career; I spent 33 years in the defence force as a quartermaster,” he said.

“I love people and interacting with lots of different people from all walks of life; I love looking after and caring for them, and a friend suggested I look at nursing.

“Initially the three-year degree was daunting, I thought there was no way I could do it.

“I left school at 16 and joined the army, but one day I just said ‘nup, I’ve got to take the plunge’ and started full-time study.

“I’m looking forward to the challenges of being in ED and not knowing what’s going to come through the door next.”

Member for Townsville Scott Stewart said the group was the largest ever graduate nurse and midwifery intake for the health service.

“2020 has been designated by the World Health Organisation as the International Year of the Nurse and Midwife so it’s particularly fitting to be welcoming 30 additional graduate nurses and midwives to the Townsville Hospital and Health Service graduate nurse and midwifery program,” Mr Stewart said.

“These nurses and midwives will complete their graduate year across the health service, including at rural hospitals and aged-care facilities.”

Mr Stewart said nurses and midwives were the one constant in health care delivery and played a vital role in delivering optimal patient care.

“Nurses and midwives are there for patients 24 hours a day and are renowned for their compassion towards their patients,” he said.

“I wish them all the best as they embark on this next chapter of their careers.”

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