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How an EN Traineeship is turning Casey’s dream to reality

26 October 2022

The expanded Enrolled Nurse (EN)traineeship program initiated across Grampians Health campuses is helping prospective nurses fulfil their dream without having to leave their hometown.

Stawell ‘stalwart’ Casey Rickard is a perfect example of someone who has held firmly to her dream of being a nurse but was too connected to her community for that to be a reality. But now, thanks to the expansion of the traineeship program, she is getting the best of both worlds.

Casey was working in a completely unrelated industry when she learned of the EN trainee program.

“Nursing was something I’ve wanted to do my whole life and living rurally I had no opportunities to study without a lot of travel and a lot of inconvenience,” she said.

“The fact that this program is delivered locally has been a huge plus for me and now I’m getting paid to train.

“That has definitely enhanced the opportunity for a lot of people in my course to get into the field when they had been previously been stopped by those barriers.”

The EN Traineeship program is a two-year course across Edenhope, Horsham and Stawell campuses and will be complete in April 2024. The 19 trainees are paid to earn while they learn and will rotate through placements to gain expertise and build their skills sets across numerous clinical departments.

“It’s a really great system because there are eight of us from Stawell and we work onsite at the Stawell campus for two days. We only travel to Horsham two days a week to attend Federation University, then we can work online for the other day,” Casey said.

“Our educators are based across the service and are overseeing my work at Stawell.”

“We are enrolled for two years but we are expected to finish after around 18-20 months and we do aged care placement throughout our entire course as well as set placements of two weeks in other units such as acute care, metal health and community health.

”Upon graduation, the trainees are qualified Enrolled Nurses, and many of them will join the largest nursing workforce in the Grampians region at Grampians Health in a full-time, part-time or casual capacity. Enrolled Nurses are also able to further continue their studies and complete a Bachelor of Nursing to become a Registered Nurse, a path that Casey is keen to pursue.

“Once I become an EN I am tempted to continue on and complete my RN training, especially now that the Government is offering to make it free,” she said.

Casey said she had been overwhelmed with how many people have congratulated her on living her dream.

“I’ve lived in Stawell all my life and this means a lot to me to be able to do this,” she said.

“I often get stopped in the halls of the hospital by people making the local connection with me. Stawell is a small enough community that a lot of people knew that nursing was all I ever really wanted to do.

“I definitely want to stay and work at Stawell campus if I can. I enjoy working here.

“I’m already settled in Stawell, and it would take something massive to get me out of here. “I’m not leaving this town.”

Those interested in enrolling in a future EN Traineeship with Grampians Health can contact the Centre for Education and Training on 53 20 4384 or via email through ERC.LIAISON@bhs.org.au