As Shellharbour Hospital prepares to welcome ten new nurses and midwives, one of the last group of graduate registered nurses, Aimee Johnson, predicted this year's new crop would not regret their decision.
Ms Johnson, 36, gave up a career in the police force after nine years and went back to what had actually been her first career choice. The Blackbutt resident said she had studied nursing for a year when she left school before training to be a police officer.
Ms Johnson said she enjoyed helping people.
"I like that you can work anywhere as a nurse and there are also lots of different things you can do," she said.
Ms Johnson was in the new graduates' program last year at Shellharbour and has since secured full-time employment.
She has been working in emergency since May.
"When I started I was on the ward," she said. "I always like the idea of working in emergency but thought I should get some experience before I did. I have ended up there a bit sooner than I thought."
The state government announced the new Shellharbour nurses among 91 recruits for Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District.
Mr Ward said the state government had made a record investment in the recruitment of nurses and midwives.
"These fresh faces have come from near and far to train and work in our local hospitals and I join the community in welcoming them to our area," he said.
"It is also pleasing that 34 per cent of the state's new nurses are being recruited to rural and regional hospitals."
NSW Nurses and Midwives Association's Shellharbour branch president Karin Tilden said the association was always delighted to have more frontline staff.
She said all of the nurses and midwives who had been part of last year's new recruits program had been kept on.
"There is no point churning out 100 nurses, if you can only employ 50 of them."