Work experience – nursing and midwifery

Due to the ongoing COVID19 pandemic and the challenges this is presenting to WA Health the decision to provide the GREaT Work Experience Program during 2021 has been reviewed. In order to minimise any additional demand on clinical services during this period and also to prevent any actual or perceived risk to student participants and patients, unfortunately the program will not be provided this year. I apologise for any disappointment this may create however I am sure you will understand the reasons for this decision.

We hope that the situation improves over 2021 and the program can recommence in the future. In the meantime if you have any specific questions or require information on Nursing & Midwifery career pathways then please contact NurseWest via the GREaT email address:

What are you planning to do when you leave school?

Do you want a job where you can work with people and make a real difference?

Have you thought about nursing or midwifery?

Get Real Experience and Try (GREaT) – Nursing and Midwifery Work Experience Program

The Get Real Experience and Try (GREaT) Nursing and Midwifery Work Experience Program has been developed to encourage Year 10 high school students to experience nursing prior to studying it with a State Training Provider or at university.

The program has been developed for Year 10 high school students to experience the many aspects of nursing and midwifery in a clinical setting while observing the team in action.

Over 4–5 consecutive days students will rotate through many areas previously not available to school students to find out what it’s really like to be a nurse or midwife and what nurses and midwives really do.

Sometimes young people disregard the option of nursing or midwifery based on preconceived, and often incorrect, ideas – usually based on what they see on TV. This program provides students access to observe nurses and midwives, who are highly educated health professionals, as they lead the care provided to patients.

Read about common nursing and midwifery myths.

What opportunities does the program offer me?

Experience the many aspects of nursing and midwifery in a clinical setting

You will:

  • observe nurses and midwives doing their job, in their workplace, at one of the participating WA public hospitals
  • rotate through several clinical areas to shadow a nurse or midwife mentor into places such as critical care, mental health and general wards.

Observe the nursing and midwifery team in action

You will observe various skills and procedures, depending on the areas you visit, such as:

  • bathing a newborn baby
  • applying wound dressings
  • setting up intravenous therapy
  • watching surgical procedures.

You may also be given the opportunity to perform approved on-the-job activities, including things like (but not limited to):

  • taking blood pressure, pulse rate and temperature (under direct supervision)
  • practicing the correct hand washing technique
  • gowning and gloving
  • attending in-service education programs.

Decide if nursing or midwifery is the right career choice for you

You will have the opportunity to observe and discuss the many aspects of a nursing or midwifery career with real nurses and midwives, plus:

  • have a chance to discuss your experiences at the end of the program vwith the GREaT team
  • gain further information about the different nursing and midwifery career pathways available to you
  • recieve a certificate for your portfolio stating you participated in the program.

Who can apply?

To be eligible for this program, you need to be:

  • a Year 10 student
  • school supported
  • able to get consent from your parents or guardian to participate in the program
  • interested in a career in nursing and/or midwifery
  • able to submit a current copy of your immunisation records from childhood and adolescence, plus evidence of a current flu vaccination.

Where is the program offered?

There are a number of student placements on offer throughout Western Australia. The following health sites are currently participating, although additional health sites may be added:

  • Albany Hospital (WA Country Health Service)
  • Bentley Hospital
  • Broome Hospital (WA Country Health Service)
  • Bunbury Hospital (WA Country Health Service)
  • Fiona Stanley Hospital
  • Fremantle Hospital
  • Geraldton Hospital (WA Country Health Service)
  • Graylands Hospital (Mental Health)
  • King Edward Memorial Hospital for Women
  • Merredin Health Service (WA Country Health Service)
  • Narrogin Hospital (WA Country Health Service)
  • Nickol Bay, Karratha Hospital (WA Country Health Service)
  • Northam Hospital (WA Country Health Service)
  • Osborne Park older adult (mental health) 
  • Osborne Park Hospital
  • Perth Children’s Hospital
  • Port Hedland Hospital (WA Country Health Service)
  • Rockingham/Peel Hospital
  • Royal Perth Hospital
  • Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital
  • Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital (Mental Health)
  • Tom Price Hospital (WA Country Health Service)

When will the program run?

The program runs between school terms 2 to 4, on weekdays (not during school holidays).

The exact intake dates will vary between each hospital and students can submit up to two placement preferences upon application.

When do applications open?

The GREaT Program has been cancelled for 2021.

How do I apply?

Students are encouraged to discuss their interest in this program with their school career counsellor or their VET coordinator prior to submitting an application. 

Before students apply

Schools are encouraged to discuss the following points with students prior to their application:

  • clearance to attend their placement for five consecutive days (4–5 days for regional placements)
  • the appropriate sites to apply for (up to two preferences)
  • any issues the student may have regarding consent, transport and immunisations
  • why the student is interested in this program.

Online application

Generally, application for the program occur in two stages:

  • Stage 1 – Primary eligibility screening
  • Stage 2 – Secondary eligibility screening

The application button link will only be active during the advertised application dates.

Stage 1: Primary eligibility screening

Students will be asked to provide the following information:

  • personal details (please ensure email addresses are correct as all correspondence is done via email)
  • emergency contact details
  • school details (including career counsellor/VET coordinator contact details)
  • health site preference(s).

NurseWest will contact the school’s career coordinator via email if the student is successful with Stage 1 of their application to advise that Stage 2 needs completion.

Stage 2: Secondary eligibility screening 

Stage 2 will only need to be completed if the student has been advised via email they have been successful in Stage 1.  The following will need to be submitted for Stage 2:

  • signed copy of GREaT consent and confidentiality forms (Word 385KB)
  • signed copy of the GREaT health assessment disclosure form
  • a signed student character reference letter from a teacher at the student's school. Students will require a short written reference in regards to the following attributes:
    • attendance
    • behaviour
    • academia (are they working towards studying for their WACE?)
    • their expressed interest in health care
  • character reference from a teacher at your school
  • a copy of the school’s insurance cover and certificate of currency (for private schools only)
  • a school approved passport sized photo of the student for identification badges
  • a copy of the student’s current immunisation records (child/adolescent/flu).

Confirmation of work experience placement

A confirmation email will be sent to the school and the student if their application is successful. This email will include all the relevant information about the students’ work experience placement, including their assigned health site, date of placement and required paperwork.

Information for parents and guardians

Information on these topics can be found in the GREaT information guide for parents and guardians:

  • student immunisation
  • supervision
  • transport
  • student support.
  • consent, confidentiality and  talent release.

More information

For more information email the GREaT work experience program or phone 13 44 77 (options 2 then 3).

Last reviewed: 09-08-2021
Produced by

Chief Nursing and Midwifery Office