A welcome boost to the nursing ranks

Wednesday, 6th February, 2013

The BH Hospital’s new registered nurses (front, from left) Paige Nash, Cherie Follett, Kirby Purcell, Anne Ball, Kristy Kelly, Amanda Everett, Jessica D-Apice, Alysha Stubbs, Donna Stevenson, Karen Ball, Hannah Miller and Tamara Montgomery The BH Hospital’s new registered nurses (front, from left) Paige Nash, Cherie Follett, Kirby Purcell, Anne Ball, Kristy Kelly, Amanda Everett, Jessica D-Apice, Alysha Stubbs, Donna Stevenson, Karen Ball, Hannah Miller and Tamara Montgomery

By Erica Visser

Fourteen registered nurses will start their careers at the Broken Hill Hospital this year.

Twelve of the new graduates started with the Health Service at an orientation session this week. The other two will begin in August as part of a "middle intake" program.

Director of Nursing, Dale Sutton, said that the number of new nurses was higher than in previous years.

"Last year we had eight," she said. "It's great. We've been carrying anywhere between 22 and 15 nursing vacancies, so certainly the 12 starting today will increase our workforce."

The nurses will spend the remainder of the week in an orientation covering both practical and theory skills.

"Right now they're doing a test on their drug calculations. It's about preparing to enter the field," Ms Sutton said.

They have been placed in the emergency department, intensive care unit, operating theatre and mental health. They will have the opportunity to change wards after six months.

One of the nurses, Mildura woman Cherie Follett, moved to the city on Saturday after graduatingd from Flinders University in Adelaide.

She said that the orientation had been a good introduction into the field and the mentors at the hospital.

"We had a tour yesterday of the place. Everyone is very friendly and welcoming."

Ms Follett will start in the medical ward but hopes to pursue a career as a mental health nurse.

Local woman Kirby Purcell, who graduated from the University of SA, is looking forward to spending her career in Broken Hill.

Ms Purcell, who hopes to become a midwife, said that the familiarity of the local health service was reassuring.

"It's been more laid back than I expected. I like the idea of working in a regional area because there's a bit more responsibility."