Welcome to our new nurses

This week 54 new graduates started their careers in nursing at Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network (SCHN) as part of the 2021 cohort of GradStart nurses.

GradStart provides newly-qualified registered nurses with valuable and varied experience for the first 12 months of their career.

Under the GradStart program, first-year registered nurses are taught to apply theoretical knowledge to clinical practice in a supportive environment, whilst transitioning to a registered nurse role.

Andrea, who was inspired to be a nurse because of the care her twin sister received as a child, started her nursing career at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead (CHW) this week.

"Growing up, my twin sister had some complex health issues and spent a lot of time in hospital. The care she received, and the support provided to my family by nurses when she was in hospital inspired me to become a nurse,” Andrea said.

"I am most excited about meeting new people, facing challenges within the role and giving back the support my family was given to other kids in hospital."

Knowing she always wanted to work with children, Ruby did a work placement at Sydney Children’s Hospital, Randwick (SCH) last year and is delighted to now be one of the team.

Ruby says she has always enjoyed science and problem solving and wanted a career where she could work with people, and nursing is a combination of all three. She will complete her honours program while she works at SCH four days a week.

“I’ve always known I wanted to work in paediatrics and the part of the job I am looking forward to the most is getting to know the kids and families.”

Last week, graduation ceremonies took place for the 2020 GradStart cohort of nurses. It was a year like no other for these new nurses who began their nursing careers during a global pandemic. Congratulations to all the 2020 GradStart graduates.

Nicole Adam, a nurse at SCH, said COVID-19 lead to a different experience for the 2020 new graduate nurses.

“Though this was not what we or anyone else had expected our new grad year to be like, the graduates took it in their stride. As a collective we have relied upon our common experiences to work through and support each other whenever a challenge arose,” Nicole said.

“We have experienced nursing in a pandemic, where the situation is constantly changing. I am looking forward to learning what a normal ward routine looks like, learning more skills and building on that.

“I think that by continuing to exhibit the same driving factors that lead us to begin our nursing careers – curiosity, enthusiasm and willingness to learn – we can sustain our main focus which is that of patient care regardless of whatever situations, pandemic or otherwise, we come to encounter in the future.”

Read more about the GradStart program.