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Tuesday, 3 December 1985
Page: 2831

Senator RYAN (Minister for Education)(9.20) —I think Senator Reid has misunderstood the nature of the new development. There has been no downgrading. It was in the State of New South Wales that basic nurse education in colleges began on a large scale. That State introduced it at diploma level in 14 colleges. Since that time all of the State authorities have agreed that that is the level at which college based nurse education will be taught and no State has departed from this. I am sure that Senator Reid will agree that it is very important as far as possible to have a uniform level of training so that nurses can have mobility between State and Territory hospitals. As far as I am aware there has been no criticism of this from the Royal Australian Nursing Federation or the other bodies representing nurses. I think it would be quite wrong to interpret this as a downgrading since clearly the move to college based basic training is regarded by the nurses themselves as an upgrading of their professional status and cerainly the Government regards it as such.