Best thing ever, says new nurse

A 37-YEAR-OLD mother of four is one of the success stories to emerge from this year's locally run graduate nurse program. 
Emma Emmins recently completed a Bach­elor of Nursing at La Trobe University, and took up an opportunity in January to participate in supported employment at Mildura Base Public Hospital. 
As part of the collaborative nursing graduate program, she will do three rotations through the acute and sub acute sectors of the hospital, as well as work at Mildura Health Private Hospital and Sunraysia Community HeaJth Services. 
Ms Emmins said she would focus on medi­cal-surgical and perioperative nursing this year. 
"I was a recipient of the Australian Destina­tion Scholarship through La Trobe University, which was quite supportive and helpful while I was studying," Ms Emmins said. 
"I didn't have to work long full-time hours and it helped me financially with my four chil­dren in supporting them during those studies. 
"I would highly suggest anyone to take the chance and opportunity in enrolling in La Trobe and participating in the graduate program because it's the best thing I've ever actually done." 
La Trobe University Bachelor or Nursing as­sociate lecturer Ali Lush said more than 80 per cent of nursing undergraduate degree students at the Mildura campus engage in a graduate program at the Base hospital by choice. 
"It is a very seamless process for our local students to stay local and become rural gener­alist nurses, which is our motivation for the de­gree," Ms Lush said. 
"They ultimately study local, hope to stay local, and the Base hospital supports them in a year of supported employment through their graduate program." 
Mildura Base Public Hospital chief executive Terry Welch said from a workforce point of view, their partnership with La Trobe was "absolutely critical". 
"We invest a lot of time and some money, bu1 more importantly time, to give great experi­ence," Mr Welch said. 
"It's almost the fourth year of your appren­ticeship, so no one finishes university and knows everything. 
"We learn every day and the supported mod­el with the wraparound clinical days and the ed­ucation days on the fortnight where they come together just finishes some of that learning in theory into practice, which is so important." 
Ms Lush said the number of enrolments they've had recently has been exceptional, and they hope to grow the program to continue di­versifying the skillset of graduates, and bolster­ing the regional workforce. 
"I think we do quite a good job in providing tailored and an intimate experience for them because it is a smaller campus, a smaller cohort and our partnership with MBPH is invaluable in supporting them," she said.