New Graduate Nursing Program Information and Application Tips

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Hey Nurses and Nursing Students!

Did you know that only around 65 % of nurses find full time employment after graduation? The majority of nurses who find employment, do so through the completion of New Graduate Nursing Programs. These programs, which offer a range of experiences and opportunities, usually run for 12 months. At some facilities, you will be placed on a designated ward, while at others you might rotate through multiple wards. The goal of the program is to support you as you enter the nursing workforce.

Today we are going to be discussing graduate nursing programs, why you should apply for them, some tips for your application, what happens if you don’t get one, and where you can apply for next year’s programs! Even though 2022 seems so far away, most programs will open up their applications this month so now is the time to be looking at your Cover Letter, CV, and selection criteria to ensure that your application is as strong as it can be!

The types of New Graduate Nursing Programs

Throughout Australia there are many different types of New Graduate Nursing Programs. The most commonly applied to are positions through the public healthcare systems. Each state runs its own application process with varying selection criteria and requirements. The other option for nurses who are interested in working within hospital is to apply to programs run through Private Hospitals. Many Private Hospital groups such as Healthe Care and Healthscope offer amazing opportunities for new grad nurses through their programs.

For nurses who would like to explore nursing roles outside of the hospital, there are many opportunities for new graduate nursing programs within aged care, mental health, drug and alcohol, and community care. These are great areas of nursing that tend to be overlooked but offer extremely rewarding careers.

Before you make a decision on the types of new graduate programs you want to apply to, do some research, find out what the program offers and also reflect about what you want or need in an employer. Remember, very challenging and busy environments won’t be the best setting for every nurse.

Why you should apply for a Graduate Nursing Program

While there are definitely alternative pathways to employment for nurses, which we will discuss later, the easiest way to ensure you gain the experience that employers will be looking for, is through a New Graduate Nursing Program. Most nurses also go on to accept employment in the same hospital/ward that they worked on as a new graduate nurse. Remember though, if you don’t get accepted, don’t be discouraged, we have witnessed hundreds of nurses find employment after completion of our support programs for new grads.

Tips for your application

Completing applications for many different programs can be a stressful time. The biggest tip that we can give you is to look at the selection criteria and base your answers to questions or your cover letter around them. Selection criteria are traits or characteristics that the facility will be looking for in the candidates that they plan to hire. Many times, these are the only things that the recruiter will be looking for when reading over your application, so it is very important to make sure they are included and highlighted.

When addressing selection criteria, you want to demonstrate how your practice incorporates the criteria. An effective method to ensure you meet this within restrictive word counts, is using the STAR method. The STAR method is great to familiarise yourself with as it can also be used during situational interview questions. The STAR method response to a question will discuss the specific situation, task, action, and result of the situation. It can be useful to think of these steps in your head as you reply to a question either on paper or in an interview.

The three biggest tips that we have for nurses going for an interview, is to research the vision and values of the facility prior to the interview, have questions prepared to ask the interviewer, and answer all your questions confidently. By knowing and incorporating the vision and values into your answer, it shows the interviewer that you are serious about working at that facility and have taken the time to do your research. Also know that many of the questions will be around the selection criteria, so review them as well and have some answers prepared in your head. If one of the selection criteria was about therapeutic relationships and communication, have an example prepared of when you demonstrated this in practice.

Having questions prepared to ask is also super important, as an interview will always end with the interviewer asking you if you have any questions for them. Some good examples of questions to ask include: “What are some of the challenges I might face in this role and how would you like them handled?”, “How would I be evaluated in this position?”, “What is the nurse/patient ratio in the facility and what is the nursing model the ward follows?” and “Do you have any feedback for me?”.

The last time, and dare we say the most important, is to act confident. Hold your shoulders back, smile, and answer your questions with confidence. It has been shown in research that the delivery of an answer and your body language, can drastically improve the overall score that an interviewer will give someone they are interviewing. If two people give the same or similar answer, the one with confidence, will always score the best.

What happens if you don’t get accepted?

If you happen to find yourself in the large group of nurses that don’t get accepted into a new graduate program, don’t worry there are definitely other pathways for you to landing your dream job! At Australian Healthcare Academy, we have been running support programs for new graduate nurses since 2014. These programs, including our WorkReady Support Program, Transition to Mental Health Nursing Program, and our Introduction to Perioperative Nursing Program, provide you with additional training, support, and experience, that will assist you as you enter the workforce. These programs are accompanied by a 3 or 12 week clinical placement with one of our Placement Partners, or in your case, a potential employer. Here at AHA, we have around 300 nurses who complete our programs every year, and depending on the program intake, the employment rate post completion ranges from 65-90 %. We always run information sessions for third year nursing students in November and applications open for 2022 programs the beginning of December. Fill out the form on this page to be contacted when more information on 2022 programs are available.

Where can you find more information about 2022 Programs?

 

Hospital/Organisation

Information/Contact

Nation Wide

Healthe Care

Each hospital will post information specific to their site on their careers page. Find more information about NSW Hospitals Here.

Healthscope

Each hospital will post information specific to their site on their careers page. Applications usually open in October with interviews in November/December.

 

More information will be posted here as it comes available.

NSW

GradStart

Applications will open 9am on 23 June 2021 and close 4pm on 7 July 2021

 For any inquires contact: MOH-GradStart@health.nsw.gov.au or call 1800 330 933 

For information on Rural/Regional Opportunities click here

Find More Info Here

Lingard Private Hospital

Contact Person: Amanda Prinsen Education Coordinator amanda.prinsen@healthecare.com.au

 

Find more info here

Mayo Private Hospital and Forster Private Hospital (Regional Graduate Program)

Contact Person: Gabrielle Dowling Regional Learning and Development Coordinator (Mayo and Forster) Gabrielle.dowling@healthecare.com.au

 

Find more info here

Hurstville Private Hospital

Contact Person: Racha Baddah Hospital Educator racha.baddah@healthecare.com.au

 

Find more info here

Maitland Private Hospital

Contact Person: Anita Moynihan Hospital Educator Anita.Moynihan@healthecare.com.au

 

Find more info here

Gosford Private Hospital

Contact Person: Craig Martin Regional Learning and Development Coordinator (Central Coast) craig.martin@healthecare.com.au

 

Find more info here

Brisbane Waters Private Hospital

Contact Person: Craig Martin Regional Learning and Development Coordinator (Central Coast) craig.martin@healthecare.com.au

 

Find more info here

Tuggerah Lakes Private Hospital

Contact Person: Craig Martin Regional Learning and Development Coordinator (Central Coast) craig.martin@healthecare.com.au

 

Find more info here

QLD

QLD Health

Applications for 2022 are open from 10:00am Monday 26 July 2021 to 11:59pm Friday 20 August 2021.

For any inquires contact the Office of the Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer at ChiefNurse-Office@health.qld.gov.au

 

Find more info here

VIC

VIC Health

Must create an account and match into positions through The Postgraduate Medical Council of Victoria

For inquiries contact: nmw@dhhs.vic.gov.au

 

Find more info here

WA

Gradconnect

Applications open 5-19 July 2021. Applications close at midday on July 19th.

For any inquiries contact: GNC@health.wa.gov.au

 

Find more info here

SA

SA Health

Applications open Monday, July 5th and must be submitted online.

 

Find more info here

 

We hope that this answered a lot of questions that you might have about New Graduate Nursing Programs, the application process, and what to do if you are unsuccessful. We wish you all of the best in the application process!

The Team at AHA