The Australian College of Nursing’s (ACN’s) 2022/23 Pre-Budget Submission highlights why growing the number of senior clinical registered nurses who meet advanced practice requirements is essential to improving the health of all Australians for generations to come.
“There are over 400,000 nurses, making us the largest health workforce nationally and we deliver care across all health sectors, in primary care, mental health, aged care, community care and in hospitals,” ACN CEO Adjunct Professor Kylie Ward said.
“Despite being leaders in providing expert care to our most vulnerable, I constantly hear stories from my nursing colleagues across Australia sharing the limited access they have to education and development after graduation.
“Continued long-term investment supporting more members of our profession reach advanced levels of practice will ensure we can effectively address the complex and evolving needs of health consumers both now and into the future.
In its pre-budget submission, ACN is seeking funding to create 150 scholarship places for nurses aged under 35 to participate in the Leading Excellence Through Advanced Practice Scholarship Program.
“Participants will explore innovative and transformative leadership concepts based on our White Paper: ‘A New Horizon for Health Service: Optimising Advanced Practice Nursing’ which was launched with bipartisan political support in the halls of Federal Parliament in 2019,” Ward said.
“ACN is also asking for the investment in providing 5000 scholarship places for nurses in aged care to obtain a graduate certificate as well as establishing two units of study for nurses who want to work in the disability sector.”
These three initiatives, Ward said, will result in Australia’s most vulnerable and underserviced populations receiving the benefits of expert care from a highly qualified nurse.
“We have put the people we care for above our own professional and personal needs since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, knowing the community deserves the highest levels of care and emotional support.
“It is time all politicians and political parties recognise the vital need to continue to invest in nurses, because when we invest in nurses, we invest in healthy communities and healthy citizens.”