Professionalising the aged care workforce
The Government will invest in developing a better trained aged care workforce.
Professionalising the aged care workforce fact sheet (PDF 48 KB)
The numbers of registered and enrolled nurses in residential aged care have been falling.
The Australian Government is taking action under its National Health Reform Plan.
The Government will shift the focus of workforce programs to improving clinical care. This will more closely match sector workforce requirements, assist recruitment and retention and help to create career paths in aged care.
The Government will also invest an additional $103.1 million over the next four years to develop a better trained aged care workforce. This will improve the care older Australians receive and underpin the sustainability of our aged care system as Australia’s population ages.
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How will this initiative work?Over the next four years, the Australian Government will provide more than $310 million for aged care workforce development programs, funding more than 31,000 aged care training places and
This Budget provides $103.1 million for new initiatives. This includes an additional 600 fully funded enrolled nursing places and 300 undergraduate nursing scholarships at a cost of $21 million
over four years.
An additional $18.7 million over four years will support up to 25 projects across the sector to trial different models of practice for nurse practitioners in aged care. The projects will identify models that are effective and viable and will build a better career path for aged care nurses.
The Government will also introduce incentive payments, at a cost of $59.9 million to encourage aged care workers to undertake additional training and build a career in aged care.
In addition, work to document a national scope of practice and competency framework for personal carer workers and assistants in nursing will also be undertaken at a cost of $3.5 million. In addition, the Government is restructuring and expanding existing aged care workforce development programs to deliver more flexible training initiatives focused on improving clinical care, assisting industry recruitment and retention and creating career paths in aged care.
For the first time, the Government will offer support for:
- The establishment of Teaching Nursing Homes to strengthen the links between the aged care sector, research and training institutions and Local Hospital Networks; and
- Up to 400 nursing graduate placements for the first time. This will provide graduates with support from experienced staff, mentoring, access to clinical support and additional training to support graduates as they become fully functioning nursing staff.
These measures will support the recruitment and retention of qualified staff to meet the needs of residents with complex health conditions.
What has the government done so far?Since 2007, the Government has:
- An extra 1,224 new university places to student nurses and an extra 200 VET sector places made available for student enrolled nurses through the Productivity Places Program.
- to date, the Bringing Nurses Back into the Workforce program has resulted in 147 nurses returning to work in aged care homes.
The costs of the initiative reflect the total new program costs to the Government.
Further information on the National Health Reform Plan is at www.yourhealth.gov.au back to top
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On 20 April 2012, the Prime Minister and Minister Butler unveiled a comprehensive package of reforms to build a better, fairer, more sustainable and more nationally consistent aged care system.