Work placements lead to great job outcomes

June 22, 2022 BY

Tara Alchin graduated from The Gordon with a diploma of nursing and is now working in the sector.

THE Gordon and St John of God Geelong Hospital have been industry partners for over fifteen years, ensuring the next generation of nurses are well trained and ready for a fulfilling career.

Dinie McRae, learning and development manager at SJOGH, can see the benefits from both the student and the hospital’s perspective.

“Students from The Gordon join us for work placement in our acute surgical and medical wards,” she said.

“This immersion into busy, real-life wards gives students a real insight into the workings of a hospital. This is a great opportunity for us to get to know the students and vice versa.

“They build relationships with the learning and development team during their time here, and we gain an excellent insight into who would make a great Div 2 nurse.”

Tara Alchin, a Gordon nursing graduate, completed her work placement with SJOGH and now finds her home on ward 2 South as an enrolled nurse in the graduate program.

“I was lucky enough to complete two rotations in two surgical wards as a student at The Gordon. I had wonderful support and it cemented my decision to become a nurse,” she said.

“You really need to be dedicated and ready for anything being a nurse.

“For example, on one of my first shifts, I found myself caring for a patient who had had a tracheotomy. He was in distress, but I knew from my training that I was qualified to meet his needs.

“The teachers at The Gordon are amazing. As students, we had exposure to very similar situations in our simulated labs, so when you see things play out on the ward, you’re confident you can do the job.”

Dinie McRae works with work placement students from The Gordon.


Ms McRae said that one of the hardest challenges for all new nurses is to step up and know they can do the job without double guessing their decision.

“The Gordon does this well and those who step up and excel often find themselves with permanent positions with us,” she said.

For Ms Alchin, the highlight of being a nurse is being able to be with patients when they are at their most vulnerable.

“Providing comfort and compassion when it is needed is the most rewarding part of my job. Being able to let my patients know they won’t be in this situation forever and that they will get better really brings great comfort to them,” she said.

“Some patients are with us for months, so being with them on the recovery journey is a great place to be. It is wonderful to see them get a little bit better every day.”

There are an abundance of work opportunities for an enrolled nurse, and for those looking to diversify or specialise they have the opportunity to continue their studies with a bachelor of nursing.

“For me, I have found my home on 2 South at St John of God as an enrolled nurse, and the diploma of nursing at The Gordon was the best place to start my learning journey,” Ms Alchin said.

If you are interested in starting your nursing career, visit thegordon.edu.au.