Graduate nurse program

A year in the Northern Territory (NT) Graduate Program for Nurses will provide you with a broad range of experience and specialist opportunities, providing excellent cross-cultural experience and support as you develop your nursing skills and knowledge.

Working with Aboriginal people, treating their diverse clinical needs and sharing their culture, is the stand-out feature of the Territory nursing experience.

Nurses and midwives tell us that, above all else, the experience of Indigenous health presentations and the chance to be a part of improved client outcomes provides challenges and enormous professional satisfaction. 

When to apply

Applications for the 2017/18 Graduate Nurse Program open May 2017.

The application process is highly competitive. The NT Department of Health uses a merit-based selection process and priority categories to ensure that NT Health Services are able to recruit both the best graduates and a sustainable local workforce into the future.

Who can apply

The following registered nurses and nursing students can apply to work in the graduate program:

  • Nurses with a dual degree in nursing and midwifery and enrolled nurses who have graduated from an Australian (ANMAC-approved) nursing course within the previous 24 months.
  • Nursing students in their final year who will graduate in the next 12 months.
  • New graduate registered nurses who have had previous nursing experience. Although you don't have to complete this program, it will orientate you to your new role and provide support for the transition to practice.

Where you can work

The NT Graduate Nurse Program takes place through these hospitals:

  • Alice Springs Hospital
  • Katherine Hospital 
  • Royal Darwin Hospital. 

A small number of rotations may also be available at:

  • Gove District Hospital
  • Tennant Creek Hospital
  • Aged care facilities and community health may also be available.

Program Structure

The program is run over 12 months, with each site having a number of different intake dates. You may be allocated one, two or three rotations during the 12 months depending on the hospital and clinical area in which you are employed.

Placement areas include medical, surgical and specialty areas such as:

  • intensive care
  • operating theatres
  • special care nursery
  • renal dialysis
  • mental health services. 

There are also clinical placements available out of the hospitals such as aged care and community health. 

Employment is offered as a part-time contract (32 hours per week). Alice Springs Hospital starts graduate nurses on full-time contracts, unless they request part-time.

All new employees within NT Health participate in a comprehensive orientation and induction program, including Aboriginal cultural awareness training. Study days cover topics such as physical assessment, paediatric care, chronic diseases and preceptorship. 

Debriefing sessions and presentation of case studies cover topics such as physical assessment, paediatric care, chronic diseases and preceptorship. Study days are also included in the program.


The Graduate Nurse Program is structured to provide support, guidance and education to facilitate your learning experiences and transition to practice as a newly registered or enrolled nurse.  

Support personnel include a combination of preceptors, clinical educators, experienced nurses and clinical coaches.

On completion of the program nurses receive a certificate to validate participation in the formal transition to practice program.

How to apply

Apply for the Graduate Nurse Program through the NT Government's Employment Opportunities Online website and then follow these steps. Hard copy, faxed or email applications cannot be accepted.

Last updated: 23 December 2016