Healthy input: Newly registered nurses in Bendigo this week. Photo: Andrew Perryman

Bendigo Health welcomed 73 newly registered nurses this week.

Since 2016, graduate positions at the hospital have increased by 35 per cent, due to the extra services provided following the move into the new hospital.

A feature of the 2019 graduate nurse program is the new interventional suite program, where four graduates are placed on two six-month rotations in recovery/post anaesthetic care unit and theatre.

Bendigo Health this year offers ongoing employment to graduates who complete the 12-month program.

Previous cohorts were on 12-month graduate contracts.

The graduates will be supported by a team of clinical support nurses, educators and departmental staff.

This year, nurses will rotate through the cardiac catheterisation laboratory and the surgical observation unit for the first time.

Extra rotations have also been added in the emergency department and the hospice and evaluation unit.

More than half (42) of the 2019 graduate cohort will take part in the general stream graduate program, which gives nurses the opportunity to do two six-month rotations across a range of departments, from emergency to palliative care.

Other graduates include; 14 mental health nurses, two paediatric and neonatal care specific nurses, five aged care nurses and six midwives.

Bendigo Health continues to offer dedicated mental health, aged care and paediatric and neo-natal graduate programs.

Bendigo Health acting chief nursing and midwifery officer Paul Rumpff welcomed the new cohort, the majority of which were graduates were from La Trobe University, Bendigo.

“Our graduates are our workforce of the future and Bendigo Health is proud to offer a diverse range of programs that meet the needs of the graduates, the health service and the community,” he said.

“The supportive graduate programs we offer provide a great opportunity to grow our own nursing workforce of the future.”