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300 new Aged Care Nursing Scholarships.

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Media Release

Ms Julie Bishop MP Minister for Ageing

17 March 2004 JB038/04

300 new Aged Care Nursing Scholarships

A rewarding career opportunity awaits people from rural and regional areas interested in aged care nursing, the Minister for Ageing, Julie Bishop, said today.

Speaking during a special ceremony for nursing graduates at James Cook University in Townsville, Ms Bishop announced applications for the 2005 round of the Australian Government’s Aged Care Nursing Scholarships were now open.

"The Australian Government is offering 300 scholarships in 2005, each worth $10 000 per year, to encourage more people to consider a career in aged care," Ms Bishop said.

"Nursing older Australians is a very challenging and satisfying career. The Australian Government recognises the vital role aged care nurses play in the health care system.

"These scholarships are part of the Australian Government strategy to help address the shortage of nurses within the aged care sector."

Ms Bishop said there were 70 places allocated to school leavers and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Winners of Aged Care Nursing Scholarships in the 2004 round came from across rural Australia - from places as diverse as Goonellabah in New South Wales, Alice Springs in the Northern Territory, Caravonica in Queensland, Quamby Brook in Tasmania, Cockatoo Valley in South Australia, Euroa in Victoria and Fitzroy Crossing in Western Australia.

"I am keen to encourage a similar level of interest for the 300 scholarships on offer for 2005," Ms Bishop said.

These scholarships are part of a larger $26.3 million Australian Government initiative to support the aged care workforce.

"In the 2002-03 Budget, the Australian Government provided for 1000 aged care scholarships over the next four years. Already we have offered more than 900," Ms Bishop said.

"I also encourage the aged care sector to consider how it can further support scholarship recipients to achieve their goals of becoming aged care nurses."

Further information on scholarship applications is available from the Royal College of Nursing Australia on 1800 11

66 96 or visit its web site: Applications close 2 July 2004.

Media Contact: Rachael Thompson 0417 265 289