Preparation for Nursing graduate positions
There are four key steps in registering and working as a nurse following your studies:
- applying for a position in the clinical sector;
- preparing for interviews;
- completing your studies, and;
- registering as a nurse with the national accrediting body.
Applying for a position in the clinical sector
The ideal next step in consolidating your undergraduate learning is to undertake an established ‘transition to practice’ program. These programs allow you to take a supported 12 to 18 months in the clinical sector, this usually includes rotation in two to three areas.
The availability of these positions has decreased over recent years due to several reasons including moves to better retain clinical staff, cuts to nursing positions generally and drops in the number of graduates hospitals are accepting into their transition to practice programs.
It is not essential to undertake a transition to practice program, many nurses enter the field without this type of program. If you want to work as a nurse, you will, it just may not take the pathway that people had in mind.
Some private health providers also have established Transition to Practice programs, for example Ramsey Health offers the GradPlus program, and HammondCare, St Vincent’s and Mater Health privates are also examples, be sure to check their application timelines.
Carefully read through the application process for each application site and be aware of the application timeline and how these relate to your study, clinical and exam periods.
Nursing and Midwifery Careers Fair
Each year UTS welcomes a large selection of employers from the industry to meet with the best and the brightest future healthcare providers. This is a fantastic opportunity to meet representative from health organisations and to learn more about career opportunities in the healthcare industry.
Clinical and personal references
Please read the NSW Transition to practice handbook for details of the two required references; you will be required to produce one personal reference and one clinical reference.
Clinical references can be obtained from your AIN work, your clinical facilitator, RN or NUM .
- Remember they have every right to refuse. So make it easy for them and provide your Clinical Assessment Form
- You may also want to highlight nice comments that were made – this means they don’t have to go looking for what they said.
- Remember, they have every right to refuse so you need to be respectful of this – don’t leave this until the last minute!
Creating your curriculum vitae
UTS Careers Service should be your first point of contact in developing your curriculum vitae. The Careers Service works closely with graduate recruiters and faculties to facilitate programs and events that equip UTS students with key employability skills, as well as the knowledge and the confidence vital for success. Their assistance includes assistance with developing Resumes and applications, and importantly Interview Preparation and Interview testing.
Opportunities for international students
International students are considered given third priority in eligibility for NSW Transition to Practice positions. This is in line with other states and to prioritise NSW trained Australian Citizen and Permanent Residents.
While this must be taken into consideration, please be reassured that many international students received graduate positions last year under these requirements.
Give yourself the best opportunities but being the best candidate you can be on the day of interview. A very important part of this is ease with communication during interview, so use the opportunities such as HELPs conversations sessions.
How to be the best candidate you can be on that day …“Selling yourself in interview as ‘confident but not cocky’”
The top three interview criteria are communication ability, clinical knowledge and problem solving and team working…
- You want your Curriculum Vitae and interview to show the interview panel that you are an engaged person, who communicates easily – they are employing you as part of their team – show them you want to be!
UTS Careers Service is your first point of contact for interview preparation and practice opportunities. The Careers Service works closely with graduate recruiters and faculties to facilitate programs and events that equip UTS students with key employability skills, as well as the knowledge and the confidence vital for success. Their assistance includes assistance with developing Resumes and applications, and importantly Interview Preparation and Interview testing
- Demonstrated high level interpersonal, verbal and written communication skills
- Demonstrated clinical knowledge and clinical problem solving abilities
- An understanding of and ability to work within an interdisciplinary team
- An understanding of the professional, ethical and legal requirements of the RN or RG
- An understanding of Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO), Work Health and Safety (WH&S), Infection Control and Continuous Quality Improvement principles
- A demonstrated understanding of NSW Health’s CORE Values – Collaboration, Openness, Respect and Empowerment (students were asked to talk about these last year).
Concentrate on the ANMC competency domains, the UTS graduate attributes for nursing and the NSW Health CORE strategy – be able to talk about each of these and provide examples of how you demonstrate each of these qualities.
Practice, practice, practice – talk to yourself, your peers, your family and friends. It is best to practice this out loud so you have a go at talking about these important areas of nursing practice.
Resources to help you ace your interview
Discover how to effectively showcase your skills with our interview tips resources. We’ve compiled a range of resources designed to help you put your best foot forward in your interview.
1. Answering Interview Questions
Watch the examples below with interview questions and “good & bad” responses:
2. Learn from the experts
Q&A Panel - Recorded at the Nursing, Midwifery Fair on 15 May 2015 - representatives from NSW Local Health Districts, Ramsay and UTS Staff answer questions on application process, interviews and new graduate roles.
3. Mock Interviews
In May 2015 we organised mock interviews conducted by the academics, local area health representatives from industry and UTS Careers. Check out what your fellow students thought of their mock interview.
Expert tip: Preparation is key! Work hard, know the selection criteria and practice answering interview questions to excel on the day.
We have a range of important resources available to you:
- What is STAR? Learn more
- Get specialist help from UTS Careers. Make an appointment with Career Consultant Helen McNairney for help with preparation for applications and interviews.
- Practice your interview technique with targeted Health questions on Interview Stream via the UTS Careers website – these allow you to practice interview techniques from any location
Expert tip: Prepare and practice extensively –this will help you stand out from the pack and get ahead in your career.
AHPRA pathway and preparation
Application registration is a separate process from applying for graduate positions and is related to your course completion.
You can put through an online application for registration six weeks prior to completing your course: the final results ratification committee for Spring sits in mid December so you can put through an initial application at the start of November. (If you are finishing mid year, ratification occurs in the first week of July).
You will need to provide a series of documents for registration. One of these documents is your academic transcript – while UTS will confirm your eligibility to complete as explained above, UTS does not provide your transcript to AHPRA, you will need to do this as part of the application process.
English language requirements for AHPRA registration – relevant to all students
All students, regardless of background, must provide evidence of English language skills that meet your profession’s English Language Skills Registration Standard to be eligible to be registered with AHPRA.
Please read your profession’s English Language Skills Standard carefully and provide the relevant evidence to AHPRA.
As outlined in this standard:
- An applicant for registration as a registered nurse and/ or a registered midwife who has provided evidence of completion of five (5) years*(full-time equivalent) of education taught and assessed in English, in any of the recognised countries listed in this registration standard, is considered to have demonstrated English language proficiency and has met the requirements of this standard;
- An applicant for registration as a registered nurse and/ or a registered midwife who has not completed five (5) years*(full-time equivalent) of education taught and assessed in English, in any of the recognised countries listed in this registration standard, will be required to demonstrate English language proficiency in accordance with Board-approved English language tests.
As per point a) above, domestic students will need to provide evidence of having completed five years of study, for example you might use your two final years of high school transcripts plus your three year Bachelor of Nursing degree transcript.
UTS process for final results confirmation
Once you have completed all subject assessments, your status will be converted to Approved to Complete and UTS will send a notification to AHPRA that you have met all requirements for completion of your degree.
For this to happen the following components must be in place:
- All subjects confirmed as passed and noted on transcript.
- All Clinical Assessment Forms complete and submitted by you, your facilitator and subject coordinator.
- All hours for your degree must be accounted for – if you are missing makeup hours this process cannot be finalised.
Clearly there are a number of elements that need to be completed so this process does take time.
The best ways to help this process is to make sure you:
- Submit your clinical assessment forms on time
- Follow-up any outstanding results. If you see any ‘results pending’ on your transcript and you believe this should now be rectified, contact your subject coordinator to investigate further.
- Proactively arrange to complete any missed clinical practice hours by contacting the Clinical Practice Unit.
PLEASE NOTE: while UTS will confirm your eligibility to complete as explained above, UTS does not provide your transcript to AHPRA, you will need to do this as part of the application process.
Apply online now to commence a postgraduate health course in March 2021.