Transition to Practice

The Mid North Coast Local Health District offers well supported and comprehensive Transition to Professional Practice (TPP) programs for newly graduated Registered Nurses and Midwives across a number of different health settings and facilities. The Mental Health Service at Coffs Harbour Health Campus offers a structured specialty 12 month TPP program. Refer to ‘Coffs Harbour Health Campus Mental Health Service TPP Program’ below for detailed information about the program.

Transition to Practice positions across MNCLHD offer successful applicants temporary full-time and temporary part-time employment of either a 12 month or 24 month duration.  Applications are processed as part of the NSW Health state-wide recruitment for this program.


Number of Positions

Coffs Harbour Base Hospital (includes Community Nursing)


Coffs Harbour Base Hospital – Midwifery


Coffs Harbour Base Hospital – Mental Health


Bellingen River District Hospital


Kempsey District Hospital


Kempsey District Hospital – Midwifery


Kempsey District Hospital – Mental Health


Macksville District Hospital


Port Macquarie Base Hospital (includes Community Nursing)


Port Macquarie Base Hospital – Midwifery


Port Macquarie Base Hospital – Mental Health


Wauchope District Hospital


Application information can be found here.

The 2019 Graduate Nursing and Midwifery Transition to Professional Practice Handbook will provide you with the information that you need to make the process of applying for a Graduate position easier as we appreciate that it can be confusing and a little daunting.

Please note that for the 2019 recruitment Coffs Clinical Network (CCN) and Hastings Macleay Network (HMN) have altered the way the facilities are preferenced on the on-line application form  e.g.  CCN is listed as MNCLHD – CCN (Coffs Harbour/Bellingen/Macksville). Prior to interview you will be contacted by the Nurse Educator of that network requesting you list your preferences for hospitals within the  chosen network in order of priority.

If you are having any problems understanding this information, the local MNCLHD contact is:

Transition to Professional Practice nurses and midwives in the Mid North Coast have access to clinical nurse educators in a structured program including study days, choice of clinical rotations and mentorships. In addition to clinical rotations within inpatient services, Coffs Harbour Health Campus provides graduates an opportunity to rotate to the smaller rural facilities of Bellingen River District Hospital and Macksville District Hospital.

Coffs Harbour Health Campus Mental Health Service Transition to Professional Practice Program:

Interested in a career in Mental Health Nursing?

Around 45% of Australians will experience a mental illness during adolescence or adulthood. Mental health nurses play a critical role in supporting individuals and their carers in patient recovery from Mental Illness and make up the largest part of the mental health workforce in Australia. As a Mental Health Nurse you will lead the way in the prevention, planning and delivery of mental health care.

What skills do I need to be a Mental Health Nurse & how will I learn them?

This information is provided through a 12 month Transition to Practice Program. You will be provided with clinical supervision, orientation, nine (9) allocated study days and access to professional development including Nurse Educators, Clinical Nurse Educators, Preceptors/Mentors, Clinical Nurse Consultants, Mental Health Professional Online Development (MHPOD) modules and HETI online.

Experience will come from placements in:

  • 30 bed acute inpatient mental health unit
  • 20 bed rehabilitation inpatient unit.
Commencement date

You may choose to commence in either of the proposed intake months of January or March 2019.

Program structure

This Transition to Mental Health program has been developed for new graduates and experienced nurses who are new to mental health. The program has two main goals recruitment/retention and education/support.

The program integrates theory into clinical practice through clinical learning objectives, study days and local support by preceptor’s and educators. The learning objectives/tools cover: psychopharmacology, disorders, assessment, crisis intervention, counselling, management planning, aggression management, alcohol & other drugs, working with families, diversity, Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander people, health promotion and prevention, integration and partnership. Completion of this program contributes to advanced standing at Southern Cross University.

Within this program you are provided with a range of opportunities and a chance to experience both acute and rehabilitation mental health nursing specialty areas to build your nursing career.

The program is designed to provide you with the necessary clinical skills and knowledge to practice safely and deliver high quality, person centred, strengths based care within a recovery framework.

Program Features
  • One year contracted transition program
  • Orientation Program – 5 Days
  • Education Study Days – 9 Days
  • Two (2)  placements (approximately 16 weeks each) within the Coffs Harbour Mental Health Service (Acute and Rehabilitation)
  • Supernumerary at orientation and the beginning of each new rotation
  • Completion of clinical competencies.
  • Completion of mandatory and non-mandatory training and education programs
  • Case presentation opportunities
  • Support and input from clinical experts within the  Mental Health field
  • Regular reflective Clinical Supervision
  • Access to Nurse Educators
  • Support from placement preceptors/mentors
  • Gateway to a challenging and rewarding career with many opportunities for professional development and career advancement
  • Opportunity to obtain advanced standing for  Southern Cross University’s Graduate Certificate or Graduate Diploma in Mental Health.
  • Knowledge of the range of MI’s
  • Medication used in Psychiatry
  • Treatment modalities used in psychiatry
  • Managing challenging behavior.
Our hospital and location

Our hospital is located on the Mid North Coast of NSW, approximately half way between Sydney and Brisbane.  It is a coastal city with easy access to pristine beaches and rivers.

Essential Selection Criteria
  • Commitment to undertake 12 month Transition to Mental Health Nursing Program
  • Current registration with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulatory Authority as a Registered Nurse
  • Commitment to personal & professional development
  • Willingness to be involved in Quality Improvement activities
  • Computer literacy.
The Application Process

Applications will only be accepted through the NSW Nursing and Midwifery Office (NaMO) centralised online recruitment site.  Application information can be found here 

You will asked to select up to 8 Transition Program preferences, the program you select as your first preference has an obligation to offer you an interview if you meet all the selection criteria.

Interviews will be held at Coffs Harbour Health Campus in line with the NaMO interview dates.

Coffs Harbour Mental Health does not offer telephone and/or Skype interviews for the Mental Health Transition to Professional Practice Program.

Information and contact

If you require further information on mental health nursing, you are welcome to email:

Mid North Coast Local Health District covers an area of 11,335 square kilometres, extending from the Port Macquarie in the south to Coffs Harbour in the north. The western and southern borders of the MNC LHD join the Hunter New England LHD with Northern New South Wales LHD to the north.

The Mid North Coast Local Health District (MNC LHD) is divided into two geographical Networks:

Coffs Clinical Network includes:

Hastings Macleay Clinical Network includes: