Blogs (Media Centre)

With nurses in high demand due to a skills shortage that stretches across the North Coast, locals interested in entering the Health, Wellbeing and Community Services sector – the number two employing sector in NSW – should take nursing into consideration.

Opportunities for graduates of the TAFE NSW Diploma of Nursing have doubled at Manning Base Hospital in 2019, with the NSW Health Enrolled Nurse Transition Program adding a second 26-week program into the year.

Four newly-qualified enrolled nurses (ENs), who studied at TAFE NSW locations across the Mid North Coast, were snapped up for the first intake. August sees another four students enter the workforce in this way.

Melanie Trotter from Tuncurry, a TAFE NSW Taree graduate, is three months into the post-graduate program.

“The world’s your oyster with nursing, we are needed everywhere. I worked in aged care for seven years then after my third child took time off to help run the family’s local commercial fishing business, but I enjoyed nursing others and saw the opportunities available so knew I would go back to that,” she said.

“Studying to be an enrolled nurse at TAFE NSW was the right pathway. It’s allowed me to see where my prospects are, then decide if I want to go on to be registered nurse or branch out into another area. In my opinion, it’s ideal to study Enrolled Nursing to get a good taste for the role then work your way up; don’t go straight to Registered Nursing where responsibilities are far greater.

“I gave the same advice to my daughter, Tayla. She’s studying a Diploma of Nursing through TAFE NSW at the moment and hopefully will be able to take advantage of the Manning Base Hospital transition program too.

“The program is fantastic. It provides a real eye opener. Some people walk in thinking it’s easy and quickly realise that, although very rewarding, nursing is pressure-filled and you must be able to handle it. A whole week can be perfect and then challenging the next. In dealing with the sick and needy you can’t predict anything.

“Whatever happens, every day is a learning day that you make the most of. Having a good understanding of what the patients are coming in with and being empathetic while focusing on solutions is important.

“I’m currently on the surgical ward, which involves IVs, wound cares, in-dwelling catheters, personal cares, wellbeing and more. I’m especially interested in wound care so I’m really enjoying it. With this program I’m getting the confidence I need to be highly successful in my role.”

NSW Health Clinical Nurse Educator, Maria Relf says, “We are delighted to help address the demand for more nurses through a program that develops graduates into highly skilled enrolled nurses. To thrive in this sector ENs need to have that transition process to further enhance their skills and knowledge and become more confident, and to get used to shift work. They put their studies into practice and expand on it.”

"Over the years most of our new graduates have come from TAFE NSW. For this year’s intake, every single person is from a local TAFE NSW facility.”

TAFE NSW is Australia’s largest training provider, offering over 1,200 courses, from certificates to degrees. Many can be studied online via TAFE Digital, when and where it suits. Visit or call 131 601.