TAMWORTH hospital has welcomed 20 fresh-faced nurse graduates to its ranks.
The group forms part of 630 graduate nurses and midwives recruited by the NSW government to join hospital systems across rural and regional NSW, including 208 in the Hunter New England health district.
The cohort will spend the next year undertaking the graduate program at the hospital, which will expose them to a range of clinical experiences.
Yesterday they began the first day of orientation week, providing them with the chance to iron out any nerves before hitting the wards.
Jessica Nixon and Jeremy Hatfield, who both studied at the University of New England, said they were excited to officially kick-start their careers after three years of study.
Only three of the graduates came from outside the New England region this year and graduate numbers were on par with previous years, nurse educator Sue Lawler said.
“Last year we received 23 grads and we retained 21 permanent positions in Tamworth, so it’s a great program for retention,” she said.
Thirty-four per cent of the state’s new nurses were being recruited to rural and regional hospitals, Health Minister Jillian Skinner said.