Homegrown nurses are ready to care for the region

GRADUATES: Brooke Wilson, Miranda Hughes, Marie Desvaux and Sally-Ann Douglas celebrated their graduation at a morning tea on Tuesday morning. Picture: Lydia Lynch.
GRADUATES: Brooke Wilson, Miranda Hughes, Marie Desvaux and Sally-Ann Douglas celebrated their graduation at a morning tea on Tuesday morning. Picture: Lydia Lynch.

Four fresh graduates are proof that retaining rural nurses begins in the classroom. 

The latest group of nursing graduates from James Cook University’s Centre for Rural and Remote Health are eager to launch the careers in the north west. 

Sally-Ann Douglas has lived in Cloncurry for the past 20 years and was thrilled to be able to gain her degree without having to leave the region.  

“Relocating was not an option for me because I have kids here – I was waiting for a nursing degree to be offered out here,” Ms Douglas said. 

“It is a really fantastic program and it is getting into the swing of producing quality homegrown nurses.

“Training rural nurses in rural areas is making a big difference and is helping with staff retention. We are passionate about our communities and we understand how hard isolation can be,” she said. 

Ms Douglas is the fifth Cloncurry nursing graduate since JCU began offering the degree in the north west. 

Fellow classmate Miranda Hughes, 22, is a born and bred Mount Isa woman. 

“I wanted to be able to study locally so I could be close to my family,” Ms Hughes said. 

“I hope it will allow me to get a graduate job out here so I can stay local.”