Graduate nurse program

  • The Royal Children's Hospital (RCH) Graduate Nursing Program (GNP) is designed for newly graduated registered nurses to develop specific knowledge and skills required to work in a tertiary paediatric hospital. This is a structured program with integrated study days and debriefing sessions to assist the graduate nurse to practice in a safe and supportive environment as a confident and accountable professional.

    The Program is designed to promote:

    • Child and Family centered care
    • Competence in Paediatric nursing practice
    • Engagement in critical questioning and reflective practice
    • Integration into effective multidisciplinary teams

     2018 Graduate Nurse Program 

    Our Graduate Nurse Program aims to facilitate the transition of newly registered nurses to competent registered nurses by developing clinical excellence within a safe and supportive environment.

    The Graduate Nurse Program is a 12 month program based in one clinical area, which allows all nurses to develop and consolidate knowledge that is necessary to become a skilled and proficient registered nurse. From day one, the program is structured to include a variety of clinical hours, study days and further educational support. Each graduate nurse is assigned a named preceptor to assist with the transition into the clinical area. During the supernumerary period you and your preceptor will work identical shifts to facilitate development of your nursing skills. Following your supernumerary period further professional development opportunities will be supported by the area NUM, Clinical Support Nurse’s and senior nursing staff within your clinical setting.

    Each role at RCH has a specific Position Description, please read through our Graduate Nurse position description available on the position advertisement prior to applying.

    When considering which clinical area interests you, please review each department outline by clicking on the links

    Butterfly Ward – Neonatal Intensive Care
    Cockatoo Ward – Surgical and Neuroscience Care
    Dolphin Ward – Short Stay
    Kelpie Ward – Adolescent and Rehabilitation Care
    Koala Ward – Cardiac Care
    Kookaburra Ward – Cancer Care
    Peri-operative (Theatre, Recovery, Surgical Short Stay, Day of Surgery)
    Platypus Ward – Surgical Care
    Rosella – Paediatric Intensive Care
    Sugar Glider Ward – Medical Care

    1. Application process

    The following information will assist you with your application and ensure you are providing our talent team with the most appropriate information that showcases you and your interest in working at The Royal Children’s Hospital.

     please take the time to read through the following information when compiling your application.

    Initially there are 2 steps in applying for a Graduate Nurse position at the Royal Children's Hospital:

    1.         Register via PMVC Computer Match;

    2.         Apply online to The Royal Children's Hospital via the advertised position on our careers site.


    Online applications will open on Thursday 1 June 2017 and candidates will be required to submit completed applications no later than 5pm on Friday 21 July 2017. Your uploaded documents will be used by the selection panel to shortlisting candidates for interviews.  Please adhere to the recommended guidelines as outlined below.

    Your online application should include*

    • Application Form
    • Resume
    • Academic Transcript
    • Clinical appraisial tools
    • RCH Preference form - available for download with the online advertisment 

    Application Form

    The application form will be available as a part of the online application process.   Please complete the application form and attach to your online Mercury application.  You do not need to attach a cover letter as this application form replaces the cover letter.

    Referees.  Include contact details of two professional nursing referees who are able to describe your nursing practice and one referee from current employer (if not employed your referee can be from your volunteer work, sport coach, extra curriculum, church etc). Include referees name, position and title, organisation, contact number and relationship e.g. Third year clinical teacher.  This information is to be included in the application form.


    Your resume should include the following components and a be maximum of three pages in length 

    • Contact details. Include full name, phone number/s and email address
    • Tertiary level education history (post-secondary school)
    • Clinical experiences as a undergraduate nurse (include number of weeks and hours worked for each placement)
    • Recent employment history (include responsibilities in each role)
    • Volunteer experience
    • Professional development
    • Professional memberships
    • No photograph is required on resume, please upload a photo to your Mercury account (head and shoulder shot only)


    A certified true copy of your academic transcript is required to be attached along with the application. This must be an official transcript and must include a grading key.

    Clinical appraisal documents/tools

    A certified true copy of your two most recent clinical appraisal documents/tools are required, along with the application. Please note that we only require the appraisal pages of this tool.  You are not required to upload your entire appraisal booklet.

    RCH preference form

    We use the preference form to assist us in placing you in a clinical area that you think you will thrive in, or have a particular passion for. Our aim is to place you in one of your ‘top 5’ preferences. However, in certain circumstances this could change especially if demand happens to exceed the number of available places for your preferences.

    2. Shortlisting

    Applicants will be reviewed and shortlisted applicants will be asked to undertake a medication calculation test and psychometric test.

    Medication test  & Psychometric assessment

    The medication calculation test is usually a short online timed test or paper test.   Details of this test will be emailed to shortlisted applicants in August 2017, with a set time frame to complete as part of your application. You have to complete and pass this test to be eligible for an interview at the RCH.  The test assesses essential mathematical knowledge, however, awareness of paediatric medications is not a requirement to undertake this test.

    The psychometric test was introduced in 2016 for future programs and consists of an invitation to participate in an online assessment.  Information is emailed to shortlisted applicants in August 2017.

    3. Interview

    Applicants who progess to the next stage will be invited to a face to face interview at The Royal Children’s Hospital (RCH). We are not in a position to interview every applicant that has gone through the shortlisting proces, but encourage future applications from nurses in their second year of practice and beyond. 

    Interviews will take place over a two week period commencing Monday 28th August 2017. If you are shortlisted, we will email you with further information including the date and time of your individual interview.  

    The interview process will take approximately 30 minutes with a small panel of senior nursing staff.  The interview is an opportunity for applicants to demonstrate; understanding of the structure and content of the Graduate Nurse Program at RCH; awareness of integrating the Nursing and Midwifery board of Australia (NMBA) competency standards for registered nurses into clinical practice; knowledge of contemporary nursing practice issues; ability to think critically; communication and interpersonal skills appropriate for paediatric nursing; child and family centred approach to care.

    How can I prepare before submitting my application?

    • Read the Position Description and Frequently Asked Questions 
    • Consider which clinical services area you would prefer to work and review the Preference Form
    • Update your CV and advise your referees of your intentions
    • Ensure you have up to date copies of academic transcripts and clinical appraisal documents
    • Organise certified copies of relevant documents 
    • Create electronic copies of certified documents for online applications
    • Learn about RCH and familiarise yourself with the organisation
    • Revise professional codes of practice and professional ethical standards 
    • Sign up to the RCH E-recruitment tool Mercury

    Key Dates

     Application open & closeJune 1st - July 21st 2017
     Shortlisting stageJuly 24th 
     Notification of interviews by email (following shortlisting stage)August 16th - 23rd (approximately)
     InterviewsAugust 28th - 8th September 2017
     Computer Match (PMCV) results available to applicantsOctober 11th 2017
     RCH contacts successful applicantsOctober 12th 2017
     Intake one commencementTo be advised - likely to be February 12th 2018
     Intake two commencement To be advised - likely to be April 16th 2018

    Key contacts

    Ms Alison Chapman

    Administrator, Nursing Education
    Telephone 9345 6716

    Mrs Mercy Thomas

    Nurse Educator, Graduate Nurse Programs
    Telephone 9345 6716

    Mr Anthony Purdon

    Psychiatric Nurse Consultant
    Telephone 9345 5526