Skilled migration is much more than a band-aid solution for country health services struggling to attract health professionals to the Northern Inland New South Wales region.
Nestled in the remote north-eastern corner of Tenterfield Shire, the Urbenville Multipurpose Health Service struggles to recruit Registered Nurses. Regional Development Australian Northern Inland (RDANI) brought Arthur D'Artagnan to the region as a skilled migrant through the Skilled Regional State Nominated (489 sub-class) visa program, and it has been a win-win.
"Arthur D'Artagnan came from Paris, France to complete his nursing qualification in Sydney and ended up working in a remote Australian town bounded by rugged mountains that form part of the Great Dividing Range," RDANI Senior Skilled Migration & Project Officer Gary Fry said.
Urbenville falls in the Northern NSW Local Health District, and its MPS Network executive officer of nursing Nancy Martin said they have difficulty in recruiting to Urbenville because of its isolation. The facility has 18 high-care beds, four acute-care beds, a community health service and an emergency department.
"Arthur came as a transition-to-practice Registered Nurse," she said.
"He was quite junior when he started but he has been with us for nearly two years now.
"He has completed his first-line emergency care course, triage and advanced life support courses, both adult and pediatric, and he is now going to be a basic life support educator.
"Arthur is a pleasure to have at the site. We have nominated him to be one of our emerging leaders within Northern NSW LHD."
Arthur is very happy with his decision to migrate to regional NSW.
"My move to the country was very successful," he said.
"I've been able to gain skills and experience that I wouldn't have been able to in a major city.
"I recently managed to become an advanced clinical nurse. So, I gained the skills to work as a more advanced nursing practitioner much faster than I would have in a big city.
"Working in small country hospitals is a great move for any junior Registered Nurse or even a more senior RN who would like to expand their career, through broader experience. I have been really well received here."