Graduate nurse achieves long-term goal

A female nurse stands beside medical equipment.
Sally Smith is set to take on the next phase of her career as a graduate nurse.
February 24, 2020

Graduate nurse Sally Smith’s path to being an Enrolled Nurse has taken longer than most, for all the right reasons.

Ms Smith has worked for WA Health for more than 15 years across several sites in areas including catering and rehabilitation, and most recently as an Assistant in Nursing (AIN) in Fiona Stanley Hospital’s (FSH) Cancer Centre.

When Ms Smith (44) leaves the centre to take up her graduate Enrolled Nurse position this month she will be missed, but staff and patients are happy to see her career progress.

“Studying to become a nurse seemed like a natural progression, once I built up the confidence to do it after working as an AIN,” Ms Smith said.

“It’s been a very busy five years as I helped with the transition of the State Rehabilitation Service from Shenton Park to FSH, and the Cancer Centre has also been a very busy role but I’ve enjoyed working here.”

Ms Smith said she enjoyed making people smile, and helping people during what could be their worst time.

“I get great joy out of being with my patients, and I often get to know their families very well as their treatment progresses.

“Working here makes me appreciate life because patients here see life differently due to what they are faced with.”

FSH Cancer Centre Acting Nurse Unit Manager Marion Bamblett said Sally was exceptional as an AIN.

“Sally is a big part of what we do for patients, and a great support for myself and other staff,” Ms Bamblett said.

“She will leave big shoes to fill, but we are thrilled she is moving to the next phase of her career.”

The 2020 intake of nursing and midwifery graduates will begin their careers in the International Year of the Nurse and Midwife, which honours the 200th birthday of Florence Nightingale.

A total of 66 graduates, ranging in age from 20 to 48, will start at Fiona Stanley and Fremantle Hospitals on 17 February.  

The graduates will have placements in theatres, emergency department, surgery, endoscopy, medical imaging, mental health, outpatients, day admission clinics, rehabilitation and paediatrics.

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