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ACT Health Minister welcomes UC nursing graduates to Canberra’s healthcare workforce

Emma Larouche

24 February 2023: University of Canberra nursing graduates have hit the ground running as Registered nurses with Canberra Health Services (CHS).

They form part of a cohort of more than 100 new Registered and Enrolled nurses who are boosting the ACT’s healthcare workforce.

ACT Health Minister Rachel Stephen-Smith MLA visited the University of Canberra Hospital (UCH) this week to welcome the new recruits.

“This is the start of many long and successful health careers. I welcome every new staff member and thank them for the contribution they will make in the years to come,” said Ms Stephen-Smith.

“Canberra Health Services has a strong commitment to providing support and guidance to the newest members of our workforce. This includes additional training, connecting graduates with senior staff members and supporting the health and wellbeing of newcomers.”

Executive Dean of the University of Canberra’s Faculty of Health, Professor Michelle Lincoln, said the long-standing partnership between the University and Canberra Health Services strengthened the region’s healthcare workforce.

“It’s so exciting to see our nursing graduates start their careers with Canberra Health Services. Our partnership enables students to gain the practical skills and experience they need to become healthcare professionals and we’re so proud to see so many of them go on to support the community in their roles with CHS,” she said.

Of the 87 graduate registered nurses who completed a degree program, nearly half completed their Bachelor of Nursing at the University of Canberra.

UC graduate Awak Aleer is completing her first rotation at UCH.

“I've always known that I was going to be a caring professional. I just didn't know what professional I was going to be – but then my family pointed me to nursing,” Ms Aleer said.

“I think when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, it was a challenge for us, but that motivated me more to want to be in the profession. I kept studying and made sure I graduated, so I'd be contributing to society.”

You can find out more about the University of Canberra’s Bachelor of Nursing program here.