This year marks the 'Year of the Nurse and Midwife', coinciding with the 200th anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale, recognised as the founder of modern nursing.
This month we have welcomed 50 new graduate nurses and 20 graduate midwives to Western Health. They join our dedicated workforce of nurses and midwives who play a pivotal role in providing healthcare to families across Melbourne's west.
Adele Mollo, Divisional Director of the Joan Kirner Women's and Children's at Sunshine Hospital, said "We are delighted to welcome our new graduate nurses and midwives to Western Health. This is an important year for our profession, as we celebrate the significant contribution our nurses and midwives make to our patients and their families every day. Our new graduates are part of this celebration and we are excited for all that they will bring to Western Health."
As a tertiary teaching health service, Western Health offers two intakes per year for graduates with a choice of three graduate programs – General Nursing, Midwifery and combined Nursing and Midwifery.
The graduate program is designed to support graduates as they transition from a student nurse into a confident and competent registered nurse or midwife. The program builds upon theory and knowledge gained from their undergraduate studies with practical skills and clinical practice.
"Graduate nurses and midwives are a critical part of our workforce and the ward nurses, midwives and educators provide excellent support in assisting our graduates to develop their skills and knowledge to deliver best care to our patients," says Adele
With Melbourne's west currently experiencing a population boom, there is a growing demand for nurses and midwives at Western Health.
"Maternity services are such an important part of the fabric of Western Health," says Adele. "In 2018-19 we birthed more than 5,600 babies at Sunshine Hospital making us the third largest maternity provider in Victoria.
"Already since July 2019 we have had over 3,600 babies born at the Joan Kirner Women's and Children's. And we are estimating a birth-rate in 2019/20 of nearly 6,100 babies. This could potentially place us into second place for the state.
In recent times, the Joan Kirner Women's and Children's broke the record for the number of babies born in a single day with a total number of 27 babies. Previously the highest number of babies at Sunshine Hospital in one day was 25.
Seven News captured this milestone which you can view here: