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Additional funding to boost nurses.

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Monday, 17 September 2007

ADDITIONAL FUNDING TO BOOST NURSES The Nationals Federal Member for Mallee, John Forrest has welcomed the announcement by Deputy Prime Minister, Mark Vaile to allocate $170 million for new Australian Hospital Nursing Schools, saying it would provide a significant boost to health and aged care services in the local area.

In his announcement Mr Vaile said the health and aged care sectors require significant resources for the services they provide, particularly as we continue to face the pressures of an ageing population.

“At present the Commonwealth has invested substantial funds through the University of Newcastle and Southern Cross University to deliver nursing degree programs at Port Macquarie and Taree and this latest initiative will create another opportunity and incentive for those thinking about a career in nursing,” Mr Vaile said.

The Australian Government will invest about $170 million over five years to create 25 Australian Hospital Nursing Schools to deliver hospital-based training within major public and private hospitals for enrolled nurses.

Mr Forrest said the establishment of the Australian Hospital Nursing Schools is a significant health and education reform which will reinstate the best of hospital-based training where nurses learn on the job.

Students will receive practical, clinically-focussed education and nationally recognised qualifications at diploma or advanced diploma level. There would also be the opportunity for these enrolled nurses to later upgrade their skills to a registered nurse level.

The Australian Government will provide wage subsidies to hospital nursing schools for each student for the first 3 months of $500 per week to assist the schools to provide their students with a wage. The Australian Government will also pay the hospital nursing schools a $1,500 commencement bonus and $2,500 completion bonus for each student.

In addition to these payments to the hospital nursing schools, the Australian Government will directly pay each student a tax-free bonus of $2,000 once they have successfully completed their first 6 months of the course, and a further tax-free bonus of $3,000 when they have successfully completed the course.

Media contact Cath O’Connor

Phone (03) 5032 4510

John Forrest MP The Nationals Member for Mallee

Phone (03) 5032 4510 Fax (03) 5032 9407