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Students offered aged care nursing scholarships.



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The Hon Julie Bishop MP Mr Peter Lindsay

Minister for Ageing Member for Herbert

MEDIA RELEASE

Authorised by Julie Bishop • Parliament House • Canberra ACT 2600 • Tel: (02) 6277 7280 • Fax: (02) 6273 4138 www.health.gov.au/minist.htm --- www.seniors.gov.au

1 4 Sep tem ber 20 0 4 JB 1 8 1/0 4

STUDENTS OFFERED AGED CARE NURSING SCHOLARSHIPS

Rural and regional nursing students can achieve their goal to work in aged care through Howard Government Aged Care Nursing Scholarships announced today by the Federal Minister for Ageing, Julie Bishop and the Federal Member for Herbert, Peter Lindsay.

Ms Bishop and Mr Lindsay made the announcement with scholarship recipients from Townsville at James Cook University today.

“Ten students from Townsville are among 300 first-year students from regional areas around Australia to be offered a Howard Government scholarship valued at up to $30,000 each over three years, to undertake undergraduate nursing studies with a focus on aged care,” Ms Bishop said.

“Aged care nursing is a challenging yet rewarding career. Nurses and personal carers are the backbone of the aged care sector. Highly skilled and strongly motivated aged care workers are the key to ensuring older Australians receive the high quality care, love and respect they need and deserve.”

Mr Lindsay said he was delighted Ms Bishop had returned to James Cook University to announce the scholarship recipients.

“The Minister announced the opening of applications for scholarships at JCU in March this year,” Mr Lindsay said.

“These national announcements in our local area demonstrate the Howard Government’s recognition of the high standard of education offered at JCU, and our commitment to help more rural and regional Australians enter and remain in an aged care nursing career.

“The scholarship scheme offers a great opportunity for new students and people already studying nursing. Today’s announcement demonstrates how they are working to help attract aged care nurses to towns in the Townsville area.”

These scholarships are part of the Howard Government's $150 million investment in education and training opportunities for the aged care workforce.

Over the past three years the Howard Government has offered more than 1200 undergraduate, postgraduate and continuing professional development scholarships to help build the aged care workforce.

In addition to the scholarships, the Howard Government’s $2.2 billion record funding package for aged care, announced in the 2004 Federal Budget, included support to enable: • 1,700 students to begin undergraduate aged care nursing over the next four years, including 20 places in 2005 at JCU; • almost 21,000 workers to upgrade to Enrolled Nurse level or undertake medication management training;

and

• 8,000 aged care workers to undertake English Language and Literacy training.

“Through these measures the Howard Government is delivering on our vision for a world class system of aged care that provides high quality, affordable and accessible services to meet the individual needs and preferences of older Australians,” Ms Bishop said.

“In contrast, Labor still has no aged care policy, let alone any ideas for encouraging and supporting aged care workers.”