NEW START: The new rural cohort jump for joy on the steps of the Roma hospital, as they prepare to travel to their regional placements.
NEW START: The new rural cohort jump for joy on the steps of the Roma hospital, as they prepare to travel to their regional placements. Alexia Austin

Graduate nursing intake on the rise

A RECORD number of graduate nurses have taken over Roma Hospital as they prepare to jump into new careers with the South West Hospital and Health Service.

The 23 nurses, who attended a training program at Roma Hospital during the week, will be leaving for their allocated positions across the south-west region at the end of this month.

A number of the graduates will remain in Roma, while others are travelling further afield, to surrounding regions such as St George, Mungindi, Mitchell, Dirranbandi and Charleville.

These nurses make up part of a record intake for the South West Hospital and Health Service, with a total of 39 new nurse graduates having been welcomed into the system since the start of 2017.

South West HHS acting executive director of nursing and midwifery Toni Murray said it was fantastic to have such a large rural cohort.

"The level of interest in joining our health service has grown greatly. It is terrific to have 39 graduates, up from 31 graduates last year,” she said.

"We welcome them to our team, congratulate them on choosing such a fulfilling vocation and hope they enjoy the diverse range of professional experiences available in our region.”

One of the new nurses welcomed to the cohort is a well-known face around Roma.

Mahalia Schuller, who graduated with her nursing degree in June, was born at the Roma Hospital and is now returning as part of its staff.

"I was born and bred in Roma and I have lived here for 24 years now,” Ms Schuller said.

"I became interested in health care after a school trip in Year 9, where we went to Toowoomba and visited all of the health services there.

"A lot of the older nurses who work at Roma Hospital have known me since I was a baby. One of the midwives who delivered me is still here too.

"It makes my work enjoyable having people I know as my patients. I always wanted to give back to the community I grew up in.”


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