Graduate Nurse Program

The Peter Mac Graduate Nurse Program provides opportunities for graduate nurses to consolidate and expand their clinical ability, judgement and confidence while working as valued members of the organisation.

Graduate Nurse Program 2018 info evening event

The program is structured to encourage reflective practice and to help you begin to identify the many possibilities available in your nursing career.

There will be more than 20 graduate nurse positions available in 2019, with intakes in January and March.

The program includes two six-month rotations or allocation to one ward or unit for 12 months in one of the following wards or units:

Ward 3A

32 bed ward with a clinical focus on people who have been diagnosed with lung, head and neck, bone, soft tissue sarcoma, skin and melanoma cancers, paediatric inpatients and those receiving radionuclide therapies. Treatment modalities provided to patients on Ward 3A include: Chemotherapy, External beam radiotherapy, Surgery, Palliative care, Paediatric care, Nuclear medicine treatments.

Ward 5A

32 bed ward with a clinical focus on people diagnosed with haematological and breast cancers. People with haematological malignancies including myeloma, lymphoma, myeloproliferative and myelodysplastic diseases and chronic leukaemia as well as patients undergoing haematopoietic stem cell transplants are treated on Ward 5A. Treatment modalities provided to patients on Ward 5A include: Chemotherapy, Radiotherapy, Surgery, Antibody therapies, Autologous blood and marrow transplants.

Ward 6A

32 bed ward with a clinical focus on people diagnosed with gastrointestinal, urological, gynaecological and neurological cancers. Treatment modalities and services on Ward 6A include: Surgery, High dose radiotherapy and seed implants for prostate cancer,  External beam radiotherapy, Robotic assisted surgery, Stomal therapy and Palliative Care.

Cancer Imaging

The Cancer Imaging Department on level 5 provides a comprehensive range of general and specialist diagnostic, interventional and therapeutic services including: General x-ray, Diagnostic mammography, Ultrasound, Multi-slice helical computerised tomography (CT), Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), Positron emission tomography (PET), PET/CT co-registration, Diagnostic and therapeutic nuclear medicine, Selected interventional radiology procedures, Bone marrow biopsies. Patient management activities include: Central venous access device (CVAD) insertion and removal, Barium and contrast studies, Percutaneous nephrostomy and biliary drainage, percutaneous gastrostomy (PEG) tube insertion, Inferior vena cava (IVC) filter insertion, General fluoroscopic procedures, Insertion of hook needle wires for cancer localisations.

Operating Suite

A comprehensive service for patients undergoing complex cancer surgery including; Five theatres, Day surgery unit, anaesthetics, intra-operative, post-anaesthetic care, CSSD, Pre-admission clinic including CPX Testing and pre-habilitation clinic.

Major surgical focus includes: Colorectal, Upper gastrointestinal, Hepatobiliary, Breast, Urology,  Melanoma, Skin, Plastic reconstructive, Head and neck surgery, Thoracic surgery, Gynaecology, Sarcoma, Robotic surgery for a number of specialties, High dose radiation (brachytherapy), IORT, Intraoperative chemotherapy.

Allocation to the operating suite within the Graduate Nurse Program is 12 months only.

Day Therapy Services

This department offers a comprehensive range of same day medical services, comprising of five sub-specialities including chemotherapy, apheresis, transfusion, medical day unit and clinical trials:

Chemotherapy Day Unit (CDU)
The Chemotherapy Day Unit is open Monday to Friday 0800-1900 hours to provide specialised oncology nursing care to patients receiving cytotoxic and anticancer chemotherapeutic agents. CDU provides integrated multi-disciplinary care to patients receiving chemotherapy as outpatients. This encompasses:

  • Adjuvant chemotherapy
  • Participation in clinical trials
  • Supportive treatments following transplantation
  • A range of bio-therapies, including novel targeted therapies
  • Combined chemotherapy/radiotherapy protocols.

The Peter Mac Apheresis Service contributes to the provision of patient care by providing blood cell therapies to both inpatients and day patients and as a collection facility for donor products that are required to support patients (at Peter Mac and other hospitals) as part of their treatment program. Procedures include:

  • Peripheral Blood Stem Cell Collections
  • Granulocyte Collections
  • Plasma Exchange
  • Leukocyte Reduction
  • Red Cell Reduction
  • Blood Component Collections for trials/research.

Transfusion Lounge
The Transfusion Unit is a clinical area where patients with acute and chronic blood disorders can receive transfusion support. The unit is open Monday to Friday, 8am - 4pm.

Medical Day Unit (MDU)
MDU is open Monday to Friday, 8am - 7pm, and addresses a wide range of patient needs. Patients can be booked into MDU for the following services:  

  • Urgent reviews and assessment of unwell patients
  • IV antibiotics/electrolyte replacement
  • Abdominal/pleural taps
  • CVAD care
  • Lumbar punctures
  • Minor dressings
  • S/C and IM injections.

Clinical Trials Unit (CTU)
The Clinical Trials Unit offers patients access to phase one clinical trials treatment. The Clinical Trials Research Nurse role encompasses education, trial coordination, data management and nursing practice. Nurses in this department:

  • Work to ensure patients understand the study for which they are enrolled
  • Provide education to staff and patients regarding the trials process
  • Assist in the administration of study drugs and manage adverse events
  • Assess and monitor patients, including management of pharmacokinetic sampling 
  • Ensure protocol requirements are met through verifiable data collection and regular audits of trial documentation
  • Provide psychosocial support to patients and families.

The Graduate Nurse Program

The Graduate Nurse Program includes the following short courses:

  • Introduction to cancer
  • Assessment and management of the acutely ill patient in the oncology setting
  • Chemotherapy
  • Epidural and intrathecal management
  • Cancer care emergencies
  • Surgical nursing
  • IV cannulation/CVAD management.

In addition, graduate nurses attend peer group meetings, clinical supervision sessions and complete competency assessments, a variety of learning packages and performance appraisals.

Eligibility and application process

To participate in Peter Mac’s Graduate Nurse Program, list the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre as your hospital preference for a Victorian Graduate Nurse Program via the Postgraduate Medical Council of Victoria’s computer matching service.

Graduate Nurse Program positions will be offered at 0.8 EFT, and applicants will need to provide the following:

  • a letter of application with a passport photo
  • your CV including a list of clinical placements and the names and contact details of two referees (one of whom must be a clinical educator)
  • your academic transcript with key (certified copy)
  • a certified front cover and summary of two recent clinical appraisal tools (minimum of one acute placement).

Applications must be submitted using Peter Mac’s e-recruit system, and addressed to Michelle Rutherford, Graduate Nurse Program Coordinator.

All applicants successful for interview will be required to attend an interview in August.

Interview process

If your application is successful, you will be required to attend an interview. The interview will be conducted by a two-person interview panel and will take approximately 20 minutes.

You should arrive at your interview 15 minutes prior to your scheduled time to complete a preference allocation form and to review the interview questions, which will be provided to you on arrival.

During the interview, you will be asked to complete a simple calculation test, which will take approximately 10 minutes.

A member of the Graduate Support Team will be available at your interview to answer questions about the program or specific questions related to Peter Mac clinical areas.

Successful applicants will be notified via the Postgraduate Medical Council of Victoria’s computer matching service website.

Graduate Nurse Program information evening

5:30pm to 8:00pm, Tuesday 5 June 2018
Lecture Theatre, Level 7
Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre
305 Grattan Street, Melbourne

Contact information

For enquiries regarding the Graduate Nurse Program, contact:

Michelle Rutherford
Graduate Nurse Program Coordinator
Phone: (03) 8559 7597
Email: [email protected]