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New recruits

Nurses join aged care workforce from new graduate program.

The first cohort of registered nurses have successfully completed Bupa Care’s new graduate nursing program in aged care.

The one year program, run in conjunction with The College of Nursing is designed to attract recent graduate nurses to the aged care industry, giving them hands on clinical exposure as well as a sound theoretical underpinning.

Bupa head of learning and development Margaret Ryan said the course offered nurses the opportunity to extend their professional skills.

“It has been great to see each of the graduates emerge as confident, skilled aged care practitioners,” she said.

Sixteen registered nurses from around the country successfully completed the program. The new graduates also have the opportunity to commence a three year post graduate certificate in aged care funded by Bupa, said Ryan.

For registered nurse Monica Bunworth, the graduate nurse program was a significant learning curve, offering opportunities to hone leadership skills, coping mechanisms and a variety of professional interests.

“At the start I thought I was already equipped with leadership skills but now I feel so much more confident in my management role. The graduate nurse program was definitely intense in terms of professional training but I received great back-up support and was still able to work stable hours.

“Unlike acute care, you’re in charge of a unit within a quick time frame and fully equipped to cope with it, the program definitely grows beginners into confident professionals,” Bunworth said, who is currently managing a unit at Bupa Berwick.

Recent graduate Alma O’Leary said the program was a stepping stone to a senior role either working as a care manager or a nurse consultant in Australia or overseas.

“I am interested in caring for people with dementia, wound management and education. I derive a lot of personal satisfaction from being able to make a difference to a person’s life through the care I deliver.”

Bupa Care Services is currently recruiting for their second intake of nurses.

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