Nursing at The Children's Hospital at Westmead
The Children's Hospital at Westmead is committed to the growth and development of our nursing workforce.
Please emai Michelle Salau or call her on 9845 0095
GradStart is a NSW Health program that supports graduate nurses.
- Read the First-year Registered Nurse transition to professional practice brochure
- Read the NSW Health 2020 GradStart Handbook for first-year registered nurses
Other nursing information
Nurses within the SCHN are innovative, creative, well-educated and accountable for their practice. The SCHN has a number of strategies in place to promote best practice in clinical care and teamwork. These strategies include:
- Developing Key Performance Indicators
- Investing in Teamwork Leadership and Change/Essentials of Care (EOC)
- Building a contemporary workforce through rostering for safe patient care, redesigning models of care, providing education programs
- Nursing Research and Practice Development
SCHN Nursing Education Service
The nursing education service is part of the SCHN Education Service, Randwick and Westmead campuses. The SCHN Education Service where possible seeks to have multi-disciplinary education and includes nursing specific education. Within the ward/unit clinical environment there is education support to progress from a novice through to a highly skilled nurse professional. Ward/Unit based education is supported through in-services, formal programs of learning, experienced nursing staff and clinical nurse educator support. To assist with nursing program design and implementation Nurse Educators work with key stakeholders to develop contemporary educative material. There are a number of post-graduate recognised programs that provide credit points into a post graduate degree.
Simulation Centres are located at both Randwick and Westmead campuses. These centres provide staff with the opportunity to further develop and enhance their practice within a safe and supportive environment.
The Nursing Research and Practice Development Unit (NRPDU) aims to encourage and support a range of research-based activities to promote the development and acquisition of research knowledge, skills and experience amongst nursing staff across SCHN. Engaging patients and their families in research is an important aspect of the work undertaken by the unit. Current research projects being undertaken by the NRPDU, in conjunction with staff across the network, which engage patients and families include the ‘Paediatric International Nursing Study (PINS)’ and ‘Reducing risk for vulnerable children by engaging families in the medication safety agenda’.
Effective person-centered leadership is essential for the provision of safe, high-quality person-centered care. Investing in the professional development of NUMs supports leadership development which, in turn, is associated with workplace benefits, better patient outcomes, and improved health service delivery. By drawing on the characteristics and attributes of good leadership (such as emotional intelligence and critical reflection), we can support further development of leaders in areas such as of self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, and social awareness. SCHN is committed to developing nursing leaders through a range of learning opportunities offered internally (e.g. Nursing Unit Manager Leadership Development program) and externally (e.g. Take the Lead 2 program – NSW Health). A recent publication outlines the evaluation of one of our leadership development programs. Wilson, V. Patterson, S. Kornman, K. (2013) Leadership development: an essential ingredient in supporting nursing unit managers. Journal of Healthcare Leadership. 5. 53-62
Our Nursing Workforce
The Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network is committed to developing a skilled paediatric workforce that is responsive in the provision of care to children and their families across the continuum of health services. Our workforce consists of:
- Registered, Enrolled and Assistants in Nursing
- Clinical Nurse Consultants and Clinical Nurse Specialist
- Nurse Practitioners and Transitional Nurse Practitioners
- Nurse Educators and Clinical Nurse Educators
- Nurse Managers and Nursing Unit Managers
The SCHN First Year Registered Nurse Transition Programs have been designed to provide a valuable and varied experience in the first 12 months in the role of Registered Nurse. The first year Registered Nurse will acquire nursing experience within a supportive environment, enabling them to become professional, competent and effective paediatric health care practitioner.
Find out more about transition to professional practice.
The Children’s Hospital at Westmead offers First-Year Registered Nurses the opportunity to undertake their Honours Program whilst still continuing to work as a First-Year Registered Nurse. Program participants will be employed on either a 12 month full-time ora 24 month part-time contract. The Hospital supports program participants through the provision of study leave to attend their university commitments.
The Honours Program is supported by the Nursing Research and Practice Development Unit who assist participants with their project through supervision, regular meetings and workshops.
Transition to Specialty Programs
The Sydney Children's Hospitals Network is committed to the growth and development of our nursing workforce. The SCHN offers specialty Transition Programs (STPs) for Registered Nurses in several specialty clinical areas throughout the network, which provide nurses with greater opportunities to increase their nursing practice and advance their careers. The aim of these programs is to equip participants with the experience, skill and knowledge to successfully transition into a specialised paediatric clinical area. During the program, registered nurses are encouraged to develop advanced critical thinking and problem solving throughout the program and into their professional careers. Students who successfully complete a STP are eligible to apply for advance standing for postgraduate nursing courses with the University of Technology, Sydney.
Undergraduate Clinical Placements
The Sydney Children's Hospitals Network is committed to the development of the paediatric nursing profession. Clinical placements are provided for undergraduate nursing students from universities in NSW and other Australian States that have a "Student Placement Agreement" with the Sydney Children's Hospitals Network in place. In accordance with Ministry of Health policy, first priority for access to clinical placements is granted to NSW students.
Sydney Children's Hospital offers a diverse range of placement opportunities for third-year undergraduate students, with favourable consideration given to students undertaking paediatric subjects and speciality electives.
The SCHN has a contemporary workforce that includes registered nurses, enrolled nurses and assistants in nursing who function effectively in the delivery of high-quality nursing care. The nursing workforce is supported to understand the scope of practice to enable the Enrolled Nurse to work in a paediatric setting to their full potential.
Casual Nursing Pool
The CHW and SCH hospital each have a casual nursing pool. This is to ensure appropriate staffing and skill mix for the delivery of high quality, safe patient care. Nursing staff employed on the casual pool are exposed to a variety of paediatric and adolescent clinical environments, providing nursing staff with the opportunity to develop extensive clinical skills and knowledge across a broad range of specialties. The nursing casual pool employs undergraduate nursing staff as Assistants in Nursing, Endorsed Enrolled Nurses and Registered Nurses.