About nursing and midwifery graduate programs

WA Country Health Service (WACHS) is renowned for supporting newly qualified nurses and midwives via structured graduate programs. Our programs support nurses and midwives to work at sites from Esperance to Kununurra in the largest country health system in Australia, providing health services across an area of 2.55 million square kilometres for almost one third of the WA population.

Our seven regional health networks provide a diverse range of services including emergency departments, mental health, obstetrics, surgical, medical and dialysis. In addition to traditional inpatient services, WACHS also offers several community-based services such as child and population health. These networks operate in collaboration with several partners including Aboriginal health services, retrieval services and tertiary medical centres, providing additional opportunities and experiences for nurses working in rural and remote areas.

Graduate Nurse/Midwifery Programs

The delivery of safe and quality patient care is pivotal to all graduate nurse/midwife programs. These programs offer many opportunities to gain experience in a supported environment, acquire new knowledge, practice and consolidate evidence-based clinical skills, develop leadership potential and socialise into both the workplace and workforce.

While each region offers a unique experience, all our programs offer:

  • A comprehensive orientation/induction program followed by supernumerary clinical practice on the ward/unit
  • A Regional Nurse Educator to complement ward-based staff development nurses, clinical facilitators, preceptors, clinical nurse specialists/clinical nurse managers and nurse managers
  • Work across a wide range of environments in a variety of settings
  • Opportunities to obtain a broad range of clinical experiences as part of the multi-disciplinary team
  • Rotations across a variety of clinical settings
  • Work with a strong sense of community and chances to experience our rich and diverse cultural heritage
  • Free access to an online learning system and professional development study days each rotation, with a curriculum highlighting Human Error and Patient Safety principles
  • Regular ward-based in-service education, free courses, monthly seminars and simulation sessions to support your clinical and professional development
  • Support for two weeks annual leave per rotation with the opportunity to negotiate part-time hours
  • Participation in rostering requests
  • Free uniforms and access to Salary Packaging entitlements.
  • Access to staff wellness initiatives including access to a free and confidential Employee Assistance Program
  • Opportunities to meet new people and make new friends
  • A relaxed and friendly lifestyle
  • Fantastic recreational experiences to enjoy
  • Opportunities to travel and explore Western Australia

Mental Health Graduate Programs

If you are interested in a career specialising in mental health, WACHS offers a mental health specific program.  Be part of an innovative, progressive and quality health service providing mental health treatment and care to rural and remote communities. 

WACHS provides opportunities to gain a deeper understanding of the unique cultural perspectives of the local Aboriginal people. You will get to work alongside Aboriginal mental health staff to improve the mental health of one of our most vulnerable populations.

Our Mental Health Transition to Practice Program offers an opportunity for newly qualified nurses to gain experience in a supported environment, practice and consolidate evidence-based clinical skills and develop new skills and knowledge in the nursing specialty of mental health.

We provide a 12-month program in mental health nursing in partnership with Edith Cowan University. During the program, newly qualified nurses will experience working with individuals across the age spectrum and in a variety of mental health settings.  You will connect with other mental health newly qualified nurses from across WACHS as part of our comprehensive learning program.

This program provides orientation to WACHS mental health, study days, a reflective practice program and nurses group which are all designed to maximise your experience and potential.  At successful completion, you are highly sought after for employment.

We strongly encourage newly qualified Aboriginal nurses to apply.

Post Graduate Studies

Our program includes financial scholarship for two units by the WA Chief Nursing and Midwifery Office (CMNO). Newly qualified nurses enrol in the Master of Clinical Nursing Course however may exit from the course with a Graduate Certificate in Clinical Nursing (Mental Health) on completion of three 20 credit point units:

  1. Contemporary Issues in Mental Health (CMH5109) (Funded)
  2. Assessment in Mental Health (CMH5110) (Funded)
  3. One of the following elective units:
    • Community Mental Health
    • Forensic Mental Health
    • Child, Adolescent and Youth Mental Health
    • Drug use and Addictive Behaviours

The cost of the third unit will be the responsibility of the applicant. Grants can be applied for through the CNMO for support with the course.

Regions

Our Mental Health Transition to Practice Program is currently available across the following regions and sites:

  • Albany Mental Health Inpatient Unit, Great Southern
  • Bunbury Mental Health Inpatient Unit, South West
  • Kalgoorlie Mental Health Inpatient Unit, Goldfields
  • Broome Mental Health Inpatient Unit (Mabu Liyan), Kimberley
  • Northam Community Mental Health Team, Wheatbelt

Combined Mental Health and general nurse programs are available in the Pilbara and Midwest. 

Please check out these regions for more details about their programs.

Applications

The recruitment for positions in graduate or transition to practice programs for nurses and midwives is conducted via centralised recruitment process known as GradConnect

While applications generally open in July and March, dates will be published on WA Health’s graduate nursing and midwifery website when confirmed.

Please note - whilst all information is provided in good faith and endeavours are made to minimise the impact on graduates, due to the constantly changing nature of healthcare, graduate program components are occasionally subject to change (including locations, intake dates, rotations, access to postgraduate opportunities and other aspects).
Last Updated: 10/06/2022