ONE of the last nurses to complete hospital-based training in Wagga will take memories of the century-old building into the new hospital along with nearly 1000 other nurses.
Janine Learmont finished her nurse training at Wagga Base Hospital in 1982.
After working in Tumut, London and Brisbane, Ms Learmont returned to the hospital she trained at alongside 30 other nurses in 1996, where she has remained ever since.
Now, the Wagga Health Service (WHS) nurse educator is leading the charge to bring together nurses and nurses’ aides who trained at Wagga Base for a reunion before staff move into the new hospital.
Ms Learmont believed memories and traditions of the old hospital would live on in some of the 850 nurses making the transition to the adjacent building, expected to open in January.
"I am looking forward to sharing experiences and stories that have been part of our current facility."- Janine Learmont
“Nurses are creative and we like to have fun, so I’m sure we’ll take that fun with us to the new facility,” she said.
“(I’ll miss) the experiences, the people I’ve met. That’s what builds the background for nursing experience.”
Ms Learmont has been researching the names of some of the trained nurses since the 1970s who are listed in historical hospital records.
“I am very excited to meet with past nursing staff who’ve trained at Wagga Base to celebrate the opening of our new facility,” she said.
“I am looking forward to sharing experiences and stories that have been part of our current facility.
“I hope that as many staff as possible will be able to attend and celebrate with the current staff. We encourage them to contact us to arrange for a trip down memory lane.”
Director of nursing and midwifery, Grant Carey-Ide, expected hundreds of the thousands to have trained at Wagga Base since it was opened in 1910 to return for the reunion, which will include a tour of the new and old hospital and a cocktail party.
“This is a wonderful opportunity to recognise the role played by trained nurses and midwives and their contribution to the people of Wagga and the surrounding districts,” he said.
“It is also a chance to mark with respect the transfer from the old hospital into the Wagga Rural Referral Hospital.”
Many hundreds of registered and enrolled nurses trained at Wagga Base over a period of more than 80 years, prior to the transition to tertiary education for nurses.
Under the move, an additional 150 nurses will be put on.
To find out more about the reunion, email Janine.Learmont@gsahs.health.nsw.gov.au
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