How prepared Australian nurses are for the workforce, why they choose a nursing career and the competitiveness of nursing qualifications are all up for discussion in a new review – Educating the Nurse of the Future – announced by the Federal Government.
Minister for Regional Services Bridget McKenzie says the review, the first in 17 years, will examine how Australia prepares and educates nurses to ensure they meet the expectations of the community and maintain professional standards.
“Nurses hold a very special place in our community and the medical profession and we want to make sure this continues to be the case,” Ms McKenzie said.
“The review will look at issues like making sure the nursing profession remains an attractive career option for students, ensuring that our nursing education system is internationally competitive and that career pathways for Enrolled Nurses, Registered Nurses and Nurse Practitioners are relevant.”
Australian Private Hospital Association (APHA) CEO Michael Roff said the review was welcome.
“APHA members are great supporters of, as well as employers and trainers of Australian nurses. Research APHA and Catholic Health Australia conducted showed Australian private hospitals contributed $16.5 million in formal training programs for nurse graduates, which translated into more than 1400 graduate nursing positions in 2014-15.
“APHA will be contributing to the review and we look forward to working with the Government on this important piece of work,” Mr Roff said.
The review was also welcomed by Australian College of Nursing (ACN) CEO Adjunct Professor Kylie Ward. She said it was vital education and training keep pace with advances in practice, technology and changing patient needs and expectations.
“Access to quality clinical placements continues to be a challenge for education providers across the country. Clinical placements are compulsory for the completion of a nursing course. If adequate funding is not allotted for hospitals and health centres to provide these placements and dedicated staff to maximise our students’ experience, then we will continue to find nurses gaining a qualification, but facing difficulty in securing employment,” she said.
Emeritus Professor Steven Schwartz will undertake the review.