Supporting nurses to stay in the workforce
The Government will invest to increase the supply, retention and training of nurses by establishing a Rural Nursing Locum Scheme, expanding aged care nursing training, providing incentives for aged care workers to upskill and supporting the uptake of Nurse Practitioners in aged care.
Supporting nurses to stay in the workforce fact sheet (PDF 47 KB)
How will this initiative work?
What has the Australian Government done so far to support nurses?
Current usage of nurses in primary health care in Australia remains lower than in other comparable health systems, such as the UK and New Zealand. At the same time, around 12,000 nurses leave the profession each year.
The Australian Government is taking action under its National Health and Hospitals Network.
The Government will invest $128.4 million to increase the supply, retention and training of nurses by:
- establishing a Rural Nursing Locum Scheme
- expanding aged care nursing training
- providing incentives for aged care workers to upskill
- supporting the uptake of Nurse Practitioners in aged care.
How will this initiative work?To improve retention rates of nurses, the Government is introducing the Rural Nursing Locum Scheme. Costing $28.8 million over four years, this will provide around 3,000 nurses in rural areas support to attend continuing professional development.
$21 million in increased funding will support a further 600 enrolled nurse training places and 300 undergraduate scholarships for workers pursuing a career in aged care.
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.
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.
What has the Australian Government done so far to support nurses?Since 2007, the Government has invested in increased nursing supply and retention through:
- 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.
- the Bringing Nurses Back to the Workforce program, which has resulted in an additional 764 nurses returning to work in hospitals and aged care facilities who would have otherwise been lost to the health workforce.
- providing scholarships to at least 1,224 nurses for undergraduate and postgraduate education and continuing professional development in 2008-09.
- providing aged care scholarships to 939 aged care workers, 891 post graduate scholarships for nurses working in aged care, and 2211 fully funded enrolled nurse training places.
- an additional 1,070 mental health nursing scholarships to increase the workforce delivering mental health services in the community.
Further information on the National Health and Hospitals Network 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.