KICKING OFF CAREER: Graduate nurse Ashleigh Hodges is settling into life in Gayndah, where she said she felt warmly welcomed.
KICKING OFF CAREER: Graduate nurse Ashleigh Hodges is settling into life in Gayndah, where she said she felt warmly welcomed. Jake Finnigan

Graduate nurse launches her career in the country

ASHLEIGH Hodges hasn't had to travel far from home to begin her career in the health industry.

The graduate nurse hails from Booubyjan which is 70km from her new workplace, Gayndah Hospital, where she started employment two weeks ago.

The 22-year-old, who completed her degree externally from the University of Southern Queensland's Toowoomba campus, said she was loving her time in Gayndah so far.

"I love it, there's plenty of new people to meet, it's a really nice small town and I prefer country towns over bigger ones,” Ms Hodges said.

She said she thought she might have encountered some resistance in her new role but was pleasantly surprised at how the community had welcomed her with open arms.

"I was sort of expecting a little bit of controversy, I suppose, being the new nurse but everyone's more than welcoming,” she said.

"All of the ladies are really nice.”

The graduate nurse had no hesitations when asked what drew her towards nursing as a career.

"Getting to help people, the same answer that everyone would have I suppose,” she said.

"I was always going to be an accountant - right through high school I did accounting and loved it, but I spent a week in the accountant's office and hated it.

"So I thought next-best option, I've got a family member that's disabled and I thought 'Well I can do something along those lines in disability,' and I've ended up here.

"I wouldn't change a thing.”

Gayndah Hospital director of nursing Sue Coward said Ms Hodges had been settling in to her new role well.

"At the moment she's supernumerary, so she's actually working very closely with a registered nurse and is supported in her journey and her learning,” Ms Coward said.


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