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Rotations we offer

  • The RCH Graduate Nurse Program is a 12-month program based in one clinical area, which allows nurses to develop and consolidate knowledge that is necessary to become a skilled and proficient registered nurse.


    Mental health

    Banksia is a 16 bed inpatient ward where young people aged 13 to 18 years are assessed and treated for a range of mental and psychological disorders. The ward provides the least restrictive environment possible while remaining compatible with the needs and safety of young people and staff. It also aims to promote community management wherever possible.

    For more information on the RCH mental health graduate nurse program visit:


    Surgical and neuroscience care

    Cockatoo cares for patients aged from infancy to adolescence. The clinical staff provide comprehensive care to patients with neurological, neurosurgical, metabolic, Endocrine and complex gastroenterology and hepatology conditions.


    Short stay emergency

    Dolphin is located adjacent to the Emergency Department (ED). It cares for children who present to the ED and require care for up to 48 hours. With its streamlined admission and discharge processes, the unit cares for children of all ages, from babies aged six months to adolescents, with a range of acute illnesses. Conditions treated in Dolphin - Medical Short Stay include asthma, bronchiolitis, constipation, croup, eczema, fever, gastroenteritis, urinary tract infection, anaphylaxis (allergic reactions), migraine, snake bite and viral infections.

    Emergency Department

    The ED at the RCH provides urgent medical care to children and adolescents. The Department operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Approximately 90,000 patients, ranging from newborns to teenagers, are seen each year = 250 patients per day on average.


    Adolescent, oncology and rehabilitation care

    Kelpie delivers developmentally-appropriate inpatient care and treatment to children and adolescents between the ages of 2 and 20 with acute and chronic health issues. The ward's multi-disciplinary model of care involves physical care, treatment, emotional support, advocacy and education.

    Kelpie has three specialities:

    • Adolescent medicine – specialising in the care of patients with eating disorders 12 years of age and over
    • Oncology – treating a wide range of childhood cancers including, Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia, Osteosarcoma and Ewing’s Sarcoma in patients six years of age and over
    • Rehabilitation – providing rehabilitation to improve the abilities of patients two years of age and over following major injury, illness or medical procedures


    Cardiac care

    Koala rovides specialist care for patients with both cardiac and renal conditions. Patients of all ages ranging from newborns through to adolescents receive specialist cardiac treatments including cardiac surgery, medical therapies and electrophysiology. We also care for patients with a range of kidney problems managed both medically and surgically, and with renal replacement therapies of haemodialysis, peritoneal dialysis and renal transplantation.

    Koala are proud to be a National Funded Centre in a variety of areas including:

    • Paediatric heart transplantation
    • Pulmonary hypertension management
    • Hypoplastic left heart syndrome
    • Paediatricventricular assist devices (including both Berlin Heart and Heartware)


    Cancer care peri-operative (theatre, recovery, surgical short stay, day surgery)

    Kookaburra is part of the RCH Children's Cancer Centre (CCC) – the largest partner in the Victorian Paediatric Integrated Cancer Services (PICS), and the only provider of complex children's cancer care and stem cell transplantation in Victoria. Kookaburra treats all forms of childhood cancer including: Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia, Acute Myeloid Leukaemia, Osteosarcoma, Neuroblastoma, Rhabdomyosarcoma, Ewing’s Sarcoma, all forms of brain cancer and others.

    Day surgery

    Day surgery cares for children of all ages requiring elective or emergency operations, who are often admitted, operated on and discharged within the same day. Our unit caters for admissions that exceed 10,000 annually, with an average of 20–40 patients per day. We are located within the perioperative department on the 3rd floor.


    The peri-operative suite is made up of 14 theatres which are organised in three speciality clusters:

    • High turnover – theatre 1-3 which includes the endoscopy theatre, labs and lines, ENT and ophthalmology theatres
    • General theatres – theatres 4-9 include burns, urology, general surgery, plastics and orthopaedic theatres 
    • Specialist theatres – 10–14 which includes the emergency theatre, cardiac and an intraoperative MRI facility which incorporates the Cardiac Catheter Lab and leurosurgical theatre. In excess of 16,000 procedures are performed yearly with a month average of 1,300 procedures. Our patients range from newborn premature babies to adolescents and we are the only paediatric hospital within Australia that performs heart transplants

    Perioperative recovery

    Our recovery unit provides postoperative care to children ranging in age from neonates to adolescents. Our unit caters for admissions that exceed 10,000 annually, with an average of 60–80 patients per day. The unit consists of 21 bays for the immediate postoperative care of patients and is located within our perioperative department on the 3rd floor.


    Surgical care

    Platypus is the long stay surgical ward caring for patients undergoing general surgery, orthopaedic, plastics and maxillofacial, urology and burns procedures. They are the dedicated burns and trauma unit at the RCH. Caring for patients aged from newborn to teenagers, Platypus treats more than 3000 patients per year.


    Short stay surgical care

    Possum cares for patients undergoing plastic and maxillofacial, orthopaedics, urology, burns, otolaryngology (ENT) and cardiology procedures. Patients may be admitted for a wide range of surgical procedures including tonsillectomy, simple fracture setting, athroscopy, soft tissue wound repair, cleft lip repair, hernia repair, skin grafting and cardiac catheterisation.

    Sugar glider

    Medical care

    Sugar Glider is a specialist medical unit where a multidisciplinary team cares for children and infants with a diverse range of acute and chronic illnesses.

    The unit has four medical specialities:

    • General medicine
    • Respiratory medicine
    • ENT
    • Neurodevelopmental disability

    Within these disciplines Sugar Glider cares for a variety of clinical conditions such as bronchiolitis, croup and asthma through to chronic conditions such as Cystic Fibrosis. Children who have a tracheostomy are cared for on the unit. Sugar Glider is also home to children who require ongoing ventilatory support such as CPAP, BiPAP and full ventilation via tracheostomy. In conjunction with the department of respiratory medicine sleep studies are conducted on this unit.

    Please note that Butterfly (Neonatal Intensive Care) will no longer be available as a rotation under the Graduate Nurse Program.