Nursing and Midwifery Graduate Program

What would you like to know? 

The program - purpose, philosophy and aims

The purpose of the graduate programs at Barwon Health is to provide a professional development program for Graduate Nurses and Graduate Midwives that supports and fosters professional independence for the beginning practitioner.

The program is based upon a model of skill and professional development that enables the graduate to move along a continuum toward independent practice. The role of the support staff is to guide clinical learning and skill acquisition, and to promote reflective practice in the clinical setting. Self-directed learning and continued professional development are expected throughout the program. A problem-solving approach to clinical decision making is fostered with the graduate adopting accountability and responsibility for their practice with the ability to recognise their individual limitations. Graduates will be provided with the opportunity for personal and professional development of interpersonal, clinical and leadership skills.

Aims of the program

  • To build upon the undergraduate program and facilitate the transition of the graduate from student to registered practitioner.
  • To integrate the graduate into the workplace by providing clinical support and educational experiences and activities to ensure the graduate understands their role in the patient journey and interdisciplinary team.
  • To assist the graduate to develop clinical competency to perform safely, confidently and professionally within his / her scope of practice.
  • To ensure the graduates practice within the Barwon Health values, code of conduct and accepted practice standards whilst adhering to all guidelines, policies and procedures.

General information

In 2019, Barwon Health will offer the following programs:

• Graduate Nurse Program
• Specialist Nursing in Aged Care Graduate Nurse Program
• Graduate Nurse / Midwife Program (combined program for double degree graduates only)
• Graduate Midwife Program 

Graduates at Barwon Health are employed to work part-time for 12 months, with opportunities for further employment upon the conclusion of the graduate program. All graduates attend a five-day orientation program at the beginning of the graduate program. Our programs commence in mid-January and mid-February of each year. Barwon Health participates in the PMCV computer match process for all graduate nurse and midwife positions.

Graduate support and education - all programs

During your graduate year at Barwon Health, you will receive support from a variety of people including your preceptors, clinical staff, managers, other graduates and of course the graduate team.

Both nursing, aged care and midwifery graduates are supported by a team dedicated to the clinical and professional education of all graduate nurses and midwives. The team consists of the Graduate Program Coordinator, Clinical Support Nurses and a Clinical Support Midwife. Graduates working across all sites and areas are supported by the graduate team. The graduate team are available to assist graduates in areas such as medication administration, time management and prioritisation, performing clinical procedures, assisting with accessing resources or just for a general chat and reassurance. The graduate team can be contacted easily and are always happy to help graduates when needed.

As part of the transition from student to registered nurse/midwife, graduates are also provided with opportunities to learn outside of their clinical areas. This includes:

• Clinical skills workshops offered prior to starting your graduate program

• Comprehensive orientation program

• Supernumerary time in each rotation

• Weekly graduate professional development – topics cover a range of clinical and professional topics presented by guest speakers and the graduate team

• Weekly clinical simulation sessions – focusing on the identification of the deteriorating patient, escalation of care and clinical communication

• Monthly professional reflection sessions facilitated by Staff Care psychologist. 

• Graduate study days – all graduates attend 6 paid study days held throughout the year. Topics cover a range of clinical and professional topics, clinical simulation and clinical case studies

• Professional development leave - graduates are also entitled to additional leave as per the EBA. Graduates are encouraged to attend study days, courses or workshops either held within Barwon Health or provided externally to enhance their own professional development.

• Clinical competencies, learning modules and mandatory training – Barwon Health provide staff with access to Grow, a learning management system accessible online. 

• Graduation ceremony – held at the end of the program; a great celebration at the end of a rewarding and sometimes challenging year.

Graduate Nurse Program

Nursing graduates can choose from a wide selection of clinical rotations at our acute site (University Hospital Geelong), sub-acute site (McKellar Centre), community nursing and partner sites. Rotation preference forms are completed by applicants as part of the recruitment process and further discussed prior to commencing the graduate nurse program. 

Nursing graduates complete two clinical rotations in any of the areas listed below:

• Community nursing (Belmont, Corio or Newcomb)
• Barwon Medical Imaging
• Mental Health 
• Emergency Department
• Greta Volum Day Surgery Centre
• Operating suite and recovery
• Paediatrics
• Special Care Nursery
• Cardiac Services
• Oncology
• Lorne Community Hospital
• Specialist medical units
• Specialist surgical units 
• Inpatient rehabilitation
• Palliative care

Specialist Nursing in Aged Care program

Our aged care services provide a rounded and community-orientated approach to the well-being and lifestyle of our consumers. Facilities are located at the McKellar Centre and at Alan David Lodge and provide approximately 400 residential aged care beds. Our services include high and low care, aged persons mental health, dementia specific care and respite. Our Residential Aged Care program supports the best nurse/resident ratios in Geelong, the wider Barwon South-West region and the state, helping us achieve an above standard level of care.

The Specialist Nursing in Aged Care Graduate Program offers graduates the opportunity to complete two rotations (6 months each) across our residential aged care facilities:

• Alan David Lodge

• Wallace Lodge

• Blakiston Lodge – aged mental health and complex dementia care

In addition to the extensive education program provided to all graduates, an education program tailored to the needs of this specialist area of nursing is provided to enhance what is learnt clinically in this specialist area of nursing. This includes:

• Specialist Nursing in Aged Care study day

• Understanding Dementia – a free online course provided by the University of Tasmania

• Other in-house aged care specific education

Graduate Midwife and combined Nursing/Midwifery programs

Barwon Health Maternity Services provides pregnancy, birth and post-natal care to the Geelong community and the wider Barwon South West region. Our staff are dedicated to providing quality, safe and culturally appropriate care in partnership with women and their families using evidence based care to achieve the best health outcomes.

Please note: Applications for midwifery and combined nursing/midwifery programs will only be taken from those completing undergraduate midwifery or midwifery/nursing courses. Barwon Health does not currently offer a graduate program for those completing post graduate midwifery studies. For those completing post graduate studies, please click here for employment opportunities.

Graduates participating in the combined nursing/midwifery program will spend six months within a specialist medical nursing unit and six months in maternity services. Graduates wishing to undertake a midwifery graduate program will spend the entire year within maternity services.

Combined Nursing/Midwifery Program:

• Birth suites
• Postnatal
• Acute specialist medical

Graduate Midwife Program:

• Birth suites
• Postnatal / antenatal
• Maternity Day Assessment Unit (MDAU)

Graduate Education – Midwifery and Combined Programs

In addition to the extensive education program provided to all graduates, those undertaking the combined Nursing/Midwifery program and Graduate Midwife program will also attend the following study days:

• Practical Obstetric Multi-Professional Training (PROMPT)
• Foetal Surveillance Education Program
• Breastfeeding study day / Extended Lactation Care

Information sessions

To find out more about our programs, the recruitment and selection process, and to meet some of our team members, please consider attending an information session. Dates are as follows:

• Tuesday, May 8 @ 10am
• Wednesday, June 13 @ 10am
• Thursday, June 21 @ 5pm

All sessions run for approximately two hours and cover all programs. Sessions will be held at:

Lecture Theatre
Health Education and Research Building (HERB)
Enter via Ryrie Street, Geelong

If you wish to attend, you will need to register. Registrations will open at the beginning of March and will be made online.

PMCV computer match 

To apply for a position in any of our graduate programs at Barwon Health you must be eligible to participate in computer match. Visit the Postgraduate Medical Council of Victoria’s (PMCV) website to ensure you meet the eligibility criteria.

If you are eligible, you will need to apply/register to participate in the match. This must be done via the PMCV website. You will not be considered for positions at Barwon Health if you have not registered to participate in the match.

Please read all information on the PMCV website carefully. 

Contact us

If you require further information regarding any of our programs; please don’t hesitate to contact the graduate team. We are always available and happy to answer any questions that you may have. Please see contact details below:

Kelly-Ann Humphrys
Graduate Program Coordinator – Nursing and Midwifery programs
Phone: 03 4215 3264

Clinical Rotations – Specialist Nursing in Aged Care Graduate Nurse Program


Traditional Owners

We, Barwon Health, acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the land, the Wadawurrung people of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to the Elders both past and present.