Dialog Box

Help us fill the nursing shortage

Every hour of new nurse education is critical right now

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The nursing shortage in NSW is very real right now… we simply don’t have enough.

As NSW continues to battle the relentless Delta variant, the State’s healthcare system is stretched to breaking point. Nurses are being called to the frontline to test, vaccinate and treat rising COVID patient numbers.

The Australian nursing workforce has traditionally been augmented by high intakes of nurses from overseas... but that’s been impossible for two years now.

The San has been working closely with State Government to do its part and has recently allowed a large group of our nurses to work in vaccination and testing centres as well as in COVID hospital facilities where they are needed.

You can help.

You may know the San has always been a renowned teaching hospital and one of Australia’s best breeding grounds for highly skilled nurses. Our hands-on, bedside-based training and mentoring supplements nursing education in a way that just can’t be learnt from books and computers. 

San nurses are highly sought after because of this. Each year in September the San employs up to 40 newly graduated nurses and our dedicated education team shadow and coach these talented graduates through different clinical areas of the hospital to help them learn and find their area of passion. Most remain with the San for many, many years.

With your help, this year we need to more than double our graduate nurse intake.

As you can imagine, there’ll be a lot of extra work involved in supporting twice the number of new graduates. Additional nurse educators, additional salaries, uniforms, HR support, admin, facilities... you get the picture. But it’s vital to our community, and to the greater NSW community, that we do everything we can right now.

We don’t take for granted the trust you place in us, and we are ever grateful for your vision and dedication to making the San a community hospital you can be proud of.

Your gift today will play a huge part in helping our new, young nurses grow and go the distance through the current crisis and beyond. It’s an investment into their futures as well as a very positive impact for our community in a time when there’s not much else we can each do to improve the situation.

“I love nurses – I’ve been one myself for 45 years. It’s a real privilege to manage the education programs for our San nurses. Our graduates, and the tremendous team of clinical nurse educators who work with them, are truly focused on giving the best possible care to our patients.

Having the grads on the ward with really experienced nurses to mentor them as well as a clinical nurse educator to guide and fine tune their skills has become less common in nursing practice these days. It’s why our San nurses are so good.

I’ve worked in nursing in different parts of Australia as well as overseas. I can’t recall a time when we have been so short of nurses across our healthcare system. More than doubling this intake of new graduates is exciting – and a huge undertaking for us – it really will help the shortage. Imagine if all the teaching hospitals did this!”

Kay Leatherland, Education Manager, AHCL


“I’m actually a San baby, so it’s extra special for me to do my graduate training here and consolidate all my learning in such a caring place. The education team is great, but it’s also all the experienced nurses on each of the wards who are so generous with their time and support that makes me want to be the best nurse I can be.

 They really have shown me the value of having connection with patients and how much richness that brings to your job. It’s not only about fixing body parts here – the San really is about the whole person and that really resonates with me.”

Stef Djukic

“We’ve been doing this for a long time and we continuously improve the grad program to meet the changing needs of healthcare, but also to ensure the graduates get the experience and skills they will need to become a fully functional team member and well-rounded, caring nurse. Giving our grads three different rotations in their first year is absolutely unique and really meaningful in the long term for these nurses. I know I’m biased, but nobody does it like we do. That’s why so many of our graduates stay and many of them go on to become great nurse educators themselves. I’m really proud of what we do here.”

Sue Berriman, San Nurse Educator for over ten years

Sue and Stef

“I absolutely love working at the San – the graduate program here is fantastic. We get three different ward experiences which is really unique – most places offer one or two and some don’t offer rotations at all and you just go where they need you and that’s where you stay.

The San gives grads experiences across the hospital to help work out what you enjoy most. It’s also helped me become more adaptable and I can pick up new skills more quickly. The constant coaching and support here is wonderful. I feel a sense of security and confidence that I’m doing things well. Mostly I love the patients, I’ve learnt here that my patient is not just their diagnosis, not just a list of tasks to be done. It’s lovely to make a difference for them, even if it’s just popping down to get them a newspaper.”

Melanie Edge