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Nursing and midwifery graduates take first step in new career

25 January, 2018

The Townsville Hospital and Health Service has welcomed 70 nursing and midwifery graduates this week as part of the first of two intakes for 2018.

The 57 nurses and 13 midwives are part of a 121-strong group for the year with graduates undertaking rotations in areas such as surgery, intensive care and rural medicine.

Among the first group is James Cook University graduate midwife Toni Nancarrow-Gerchow who made the decision to take on midwifery after wanting to do something purposeful with her life.

“I had recently turned 25 and was having a bit of an existential crisis,” she said.

“My friend and I spent a night looking through job websites and then she went onto JCU’s website; she stopped scrolling and looked at me and said 'you should be a midwife’ and without even a moment’s hesitation I replied ‘I think I should be’.

“I applied that week and was accepted in the following intake; it seems crazy to me now that this journey started with what could be seen as an offhanded suggestion.”

Toni said she was always fascinated by birth and babies, and was looking forward to putting her midwifery skills in action.

“I believe that good, basic midwifery care can make such a huge difference to the women and families we work with so I’m excited to be part of a team that makes that difference,” she said.

“I cannot wait to be out there educating and empowering women, being one of the first people to whisper happy birthday to amazing new babes and making the transition into parenthood as easy as possible for women and their partners/families.”

Toni said working for the Townsville Hospital and Health Service seemed like a smart choice for her career.

“I was lucky enough to complete a number of placements at The Townsville Hospital (TTH) both in nursing and in midwifery,” she said.

“During these placements I was well supported, especially in maternity and birth suite.

“I also feel it is important to gain as much experience as possible; TTH has so many opportunities to offer new graduates like myself and I feel confident that a graduate year with TTH will encourage my professional growth in a supportive environment.

“I can't believe I’m going to get paid to do the best job in the world.”

Townsville Hospital and Health Board Chair Tony Mooney said the graduates would be an asset to the Townsville Hospital and Health Service’s workforce.

“Nurses and midwives are present throughout a person’s life; from the moment we are born through to aged care, nurses and midwives are there for us at all stages of our life,” he said.

“I’d like to wish all our graduates the very best as they embark on their new careers.

“I have no doubt they upholding the exceptional standard of nurses at the Townsville Hospital and Health Service.”

Minister for Communities, Minister for Disability Services and Seniors and Member for Mundingburra Coralee O’Rourke MP said more than 1400 new nursing and midwifery graduates were starting across Queensland in 2018.  

“In Townsville, 70 new nurses and midwives will begin what I’m sure will be long and rewarding careers in health care,” she said.

“They’ve studied and worked very hard and I congratulate them on obtaining a graduate position with Queensland Health.

“For the graduates who are not from North Queensland, they will be able to enjoy our community and all that NQ lifestyle has to offer.”

Executive director nursing and midwifery Judy Morton said the first year out of university was always an exciting time for graduates.

“Nurses and midwives make a measurable difference to people’s lives,” she said.

“Our graduate nurses and midwives have trained for three to four years in higher education and are now ready to put their learned skills into action to help the North Queensland community.

“We are delighted to be helping them launch their careers at our facilities, including Richmond, Ayr, Home Hill, Ingham and Charters Towers hospitals, and look forward to watching them make a difference.”

Last updated: 30 January 2018