Wagga has welcomed its newest Registered Nurses who will soon start work in hospitals across the Riverina.
Twenty-six brand new graduates will begin work in the coming fortnight as part of the Murrumbidgee Local Health District's biannual intake.
Kathleen Ostler will join Wagga Base Hospital's surgical ward after moving from Port Macquarie.
"I'm looking forward to a new experience. It's a long way from home," she said.
"I don't really have any family around here either, so it's going to be a very big change for me.
"I've heard a lot of good things about the area and I'm looking forward to learning a lot of new things here.
Ms Ostler said she would really love to go into neonatal intensive care, where critically ill newborn babies are looked after by a highly specialised team of medical staff.
"I would love to work with babies. I've done paediatric placements in the past which I've really enjoyed," she said.
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"So hopefully I'll end up in [paediatrics] on my next rotation.
"I'm nervous, but excited as well."
The Murrumbidgee Local Health District's nurse manager clinical capability Annie Skipworth said welcoming the new nurses was very rewarding.
"Easily about 50 per cent of our graduates come from Charles Sturt University ... but we do get a bit of a mix and a diverse group, which is great," Ms Skipworth said.
Ms Skipworth said 77 per cent of graduate nurses working in the Murrumbidgee would stay on after their first year.
"Naturally metropolitan areas are popular because they do have more specialist areas, she said.
"But we do have people who want to come into the regional setting as well, who are not local.
"It's a great opportunity to showcase our towns and our local regions and to show that we do have ... a lot to offer."
Ms Skipworth said the MLHD encouraged new graduates to "put down roots" in communities across the region.
CSU graduate Amanda Wendt will return to nursing at Wagga Base Hospital, after leaving a career as an Enrolled Nurse in 2007 to have a family.
"I'll spend 6 months in clinical services ... and then I'll spend 6 months in mental health services," she said of her upcoming rotations.
Ms Wendt said she was interested in specialising in aged care.
"I have spent a little bit of time working in aged care as an [student Assistant in Nursing]. They have taken up a special part in my heart," she said.
"So I'm thinking medical services and maybe looking at aged care, which is a very valuable area that I think some people don't think of when they come to nursing."
James McBeath is about to start as a graduate nurse in the aged care ward at Tumbarumba Multipurpose Service.
"I got offered the rural position around January and I just accepted it and said, 'Yeah I'll do it," he said.
"It's a good opportunity. I'm very excited to learn and gain as much medical experience as I can."