NSW Minister for Health Jillian Skinner yesterday visited The Children’s Hospital at Westmead to welcome 42 graduate nurses and midwives on their first day at work. Mrs Skinner, joined by Member for Parramatta Dr Geoff Lee and Member for Granville Tony Issa, also announced that 500 graduate nurses are due to start work across NSW this week, with a further 1300 to take up duties over the coming weeks.
“Today we congratulate these graduates on the success of their studies and wish them well as they embark on one of the truly great professions,” Mrs Skinner said.
“It is my privilege, as Minister for Health, to meet nurses and midwives right across our state and to witness their skill and compassion. As a society, we rely on them to deliver the highest standards of care. They are the very heart of our health system,” she said.
The 2014 intake of over 1800 graduates takes the overall number of nurses and midwives working with NSW Health Services to more than 47,500.
In 2011, the government promised to provide 2,475 additional nurses to hospitals across the State within the first term of the O'Farrell government, addressing an identified need for qualified nursing staff, particularly in regional NSW. Mrs Skinner said the government had met this target in half the time, recruiting 4,100 extra nurses and midwives to bolster state health services.
Mrs Skinner also stated that over a third of (34%) this year's cohort of qualified nurses and midwives had taken up jobs in rural hospitals, representing a significant win for regional and rural healthcare in NSW.