NMHPV supports our Graduate Nurses and Midwives

By Glenn Taylor, CEO

On behalf of everyone at the Nursing & Midwifery Health Program Victoria (NMHPV), I would like to congratulate you on graduating as a nurse or midwife and welcome you to the profession.

The transition from student to health professional is an exciting one. It is one filled with opportunity, anticipation and expectation. I am sure you are keen to get to work and to practise the skills you have spent so long learning and fine-tuning.

Any transition presents its challenges and this transition will be no different. Based on our extensive experience in working with graduate nurses and midwives I’ve no doubt you will find it invigorating, fulfilling and incredibly rewarding.

However, at times you are likely to find it stressful and unsettling. There will probably be times when you ask yourself why you chose to pursue this profession. Those times pass. I’d like to reassure you that this is a completely normal response! In fact, I’d suggest it is unusual not to have this response at some point throughout the graduate year.

The important thing to know, if these thoughts do arise, is that it is alright to reach out to a trusted support for help or guidance. It’s healthy to discuss the way you are feeling and, remember, there’s no ‘right’ way of navigating the graduate year and the transition into your new profession. You will develop ways that work for you and that’s what matters.

Our experience tells us that ‘expectation’ of us, by us and others, whether this is real or perceived, can feel overwhelming and create anxiety. These can be successfully managed by addressing these thoughts as they arise and by considering the following:

•  Try to get adequate sleep, rest and downtime

•  Follow a healthy eating plan and keep hydrated

•  Reduce stressful situations if you can and seek help if you need it

•  Identify a trusted support person available to discuss the challenges you face

•  Work is just one part of your life. Plan events and activities in your personal life that give you joy and fulfillment

•  Keep a routine. Consider limiting your personal commitments during the first few months. The transition to your graduate year can be taxing in the early days

•  Reward yourself occasionally to recognise a goal achieved.

The NMHPV is funded by Victorian nurses and midwives registration fees. It is confidential and independent support service specifically designed to assist nurses and midwives with issues related to their substance use and mental health concerns. A lot of our work is supporting everyday people in managing the challenges life presents which result in stress, anxiety, confusion and altered mood.

We work with individuals to provide confidential assessment, treatment and referral to a variety of services including counselling and financial support, case management, peer support groups and general support regarding industry issues. Engagement with the NMHPV is voluntary and no referral is required. Information, support and appointments for assessment are easily provided over the phone.