New online recruitment hub a winner for nurses

Posted: 25th May

New online recruitment hub a winner for nurses

13 May 2020


A new website is acting as a hub to link Wimmera hospitals with skilled workers to help tackle shortages of health clinicians in the region. 

Federation University partnered with hospitals including Wimmera Health Care Group, Rural Northwest Health and West Wimmera Health Service to deliver the Connecting Health Careers website. 

The website, launched last month, acts as a ‘one-stop shop’ for health careers, with the aim to attract and retain graduates at rural hospitals. 

WHCG registered nurse Emalee Iredell is one of many employees who decided to stay in Horsham on completing her studies at Federation University. 

Ms Iredell, 25, completed her placement at WHCG last year and went directly into working as a full-time registered nurse in the hospital’s emergency department. 

She said the diversity of roles she had undertaken at the hospital allowed her to quickly up-skill in many departments. 

Ms Iredell said she believed staying in Horsham had helped her develop faster in her profession than if she were at a larger hospital. 

“We get to do so much at a smaller hospital – there’s such a diverse range of things we get to do as nurses, therefore our skillset here is probably a lot better,” she said. 

“In the bigger cities there’s more specialist wards, whereas in Horsham we get to look after all of that.” 

Ms Iredell started her diploma in nursing at 21 because she enjoyed helping people. 

She said she believed there was more of an opportunity to develop relationships with her patients in the rural hospital. 

“I feel like people get more person-
centred care when they’re in a little community like Horsham,” she said. 

“I feel like it’s really down to earth, along with the staff. It’s a nice friendly vibe.”

Ms Iredell said she hoped more people would stay in Horsham on graduating rather than moving to metropolitan centres like Melbourne. 

“Graduates all tend to want to go to the bigger cities and it’s just so vital that we keep locals here,” she said. 

“I love Horsham, it’s got everything you need and it’s what you make of it. I didn’t really want to move unless I had to.” 

The new website enables students to browse job opportunities and to create and upload their resumes. 

WHCG human resources advisor Sophie Connor said recruiting healthcare staff in regional areas was a challenge. 

She said the website gave the hospital a more ‘targeted approach’ when recruiting graduates.  

“The portal gives us a chance to show recent recruits or graduates of TAFE courses about what our organisation stands for and offers,” she said. 

“Because there’s a lot of healthcare roles in national shortage, as well as the rurality factor of our hospital, it makes it difficult to recruit.

“The website allows recruitment to be more targeted to a potential source of people who have finished or nearly finished their studies.”

She said WHCG was always seeking new ways to attract skilled workers to widen the hospital’s applicant pool.  

“We need enrolled nurses, traineeships and graduates to make sure there’s enough people coming through and gaining experience as one part of our recruitment strategy,” she said

“The turnover means we’ve always got available positions and therefore need new and qualified team members to join our dedicated health service.”   

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