Country career gives more opportunity for growth, leadership
THE decision to kick start her nursing career in the Clarence Valley didn't come easily to Sophie*,but she has been given life-changing opportunities because of it.
Sophie made the move to Grafton to begin her nursing career having just completed her studies last year.
"I took the job because it was a very good opportunity to work for NSW Health and break into the public system," she said.
"Working regionally as a nurse really gives you the opportunity to work in situations and areas where if you worked in a big hospital you wouldn't have the same kind of experience."
The young professional in her early twenties said the change was daunting, and difficult at times, coming from a metropolitan haven and some of the country's biggest hospitals to a completely different landscape, but she said regional health had its perks.
"Because there are less staff it's a lot easier to get along with everyone and there is better collaboration, I found," she said.
"Everyone was willing to teach me, take me under their wing and show me around town and the neighbouring suburbs as well."
Sophie said since taking on the position a few months ago she had been able to take on leadership roles and attend extensive training and skills development programs.
While professionally life in the Clarence Valley health system provides so much opportunity, Sophie said the social side of things was a struggle at times.
"I'm lucky that I'm not a big extrovert, and all the people I've met are really lovely," she said.
"I have lots of Grafton mums and dads but no one I could talk about silly things with, like a 20-year-old could."
The relocation wasn't easy.
Struggling to find affordable housing and meet people her own age made the initial period in Grafton difficult.
Sophie believed the region could become a bigger attraction to young medical professionals with programs to link those who are new in town.
*Name has been changed.