Running since 2012, the program provides first and second year Registered Nurses with a supportive learning environment to complete academic studies and work placements in a variety of locations and wards, including Tweed, Lismore and Byron Bay.
Richmond Clarence Mental Health Network Manager, Warren Shaw, said the program is also a great introduction into mental health nursing for those starting out.
“It’s a fantastic way to test the waters and be in a supported environment,” Warren said.
“It is one of the major ways to attract nurses to mental health nursing.”
Four of the five 2017 graduates have now gained permanent employment within the Richmond Mental Health Network, with the fifth candidate planning to work casually within the region.
“This is a fantastic outcome both for the participants and the local health services,” Warren said.
Throughout the program’s history, more than half of the 28 graduates have gone on to work within the Northern NSW Local Health District.
“The new graduates keep our whole workforce fresh, and our senior nurses get a lot from running the program as well,” Warren said.
Entry into the program is through a competitive recruitment process.