Next generation of Monash nurses and midwives celebrated with badge ceremony

Over 200 new nurses and midwives were welcomed into the Monash Nursing and Midwifery alumni community at the annual badge ceremony on Thursday December 19 held in the George Jenkins theatre at our Peninsula campus.

The badges are part of a long-standing tradition, dating back to the days of hospital-based nursing education. Nurses would be awarded a badge from their hospital, signifying the successful completing of their training. Today we celebrate the success of our nursing and midwifery students as they begin their healthcare careers. Each is presented with a Monash pin, to proudly wear in their graduate roles.

In 2019, more than 480 Monash students completed a qualifying nursing or nursing and midwifery degree. Most received graduate positions with health care providers across the state, continuing our successful track-record for the high employability of our nursing and midwifery students.

Rebecca Salton-Dodd says nursing chose her. After a 12-year career in sales, she wanted something more and returned to school to make the change.  During the final semester of her nursing diploma, however, Rebecca was faced with a significant health challenge after suffering a subarachnoid haemorrhage. Faced with a long recovery, she was told she wouldn’t be able to finish the diploma that year.Bachelor of Nursing graduate Rebecca Salton-Dodd

“I replied, watch me! So I did, and the following year began my degree at Monash”, Rebecca recalls.

While it wasn’t easy battling fatigue, concentration and migraines, Rebecca credits her study success to the care of her neurological team and close support networks.

“There have been tears, meltdowns, but also laughter, celebrations and some of the best friendships I could not possibly have survived the last two years without! The support I have received from Monash has been incredible, from disability services, peer mentors, faculty and library support, there is always someone to help out.”

For Rebecca, the highlight of her nursing degree was completing her mental health placement in the hYEPP (headspace Youth Early Psychosis Program) at Alfred Health.

“To see the changes they were making in their patients’ lives and the passion that they all came to work with every single day just blew me away. I knew by the end of the first week that mental health nursing was where I wanted to be and that The Alfred was where I wanted to work. There was no plan B!”

Rebecca has landed her dream position with the Alfred Mental and Addiction Health graduate program and hopes to complete specialist studies in mental health nursing in the years to come. This week, Rebecca also received a 2019 First State Super / Australian Nursing & Midwifery Federation Award for her academic performance and demonstrating personal qualities intrinsic to nursing and midwifery.

Bachelor of Nursing and Midwifery student Emily Hammond also attends today’s ceremony, having overcome adversity and making her dream of becoming a midwife a reality:

Bachelor of Nursing and Bachelor of Midwifery graduate Emily Hammond“Receiving six scholarships over four years of study has really encouraged me and made university education possible for me. I am proud of myself for overcoming financial difficulties, anxiety and stress while still maintaining good grades.”

Aside from thriving in her studies, Emily also took on a leadership role as president of the Monash University Nursing and Midwifery Club. In 2020, she’ll begin a combined nursing-midwifery graduate position at Peninsula Health, her first preference hospital.

“In the future when I have much more experience, I would love to take on an educator role and help to prepare future nurses and midwives for practice”, she reflects.

Rebecca, Emily and the class of 2019 join the 13,000+ nurses and midwives we’ve trained over the last 30 years, marking a significant contribution to the healthcare workforce.

In February 2020, we’ll be celebrating 30 years of nursing and midwifery at Monash. If you’re an alumnus and would like to join the celebrations, reconnect with your classmates or request a new Monash nursing badge, visit our 30th anniversary website.