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Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Prioritisation of permanent visa processing welcome step in addressing nursing crisis

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The Australian College of Nursing (ACN) welcomes the announcement by home affairs minister Clare O’Neil highlighting the processing of almost 60,000 permanent visa applications will be prioritised to help fill worker shortages in areas of need such as nursing, health and aged care.

“I welcome today’s comments from Minister O’Neil outlining the Federal Government are committed to ensuring targeted migration of nurses from overseas is a central pillar of our strategy to tackle the workforce crisis facing the nursing profession,” ACN CEO Adjunct Professor Kylie Ward said yesterday.

As I said in the aftermath of the federal election, skilled migration as part of a suite of strategies is critical to ensuring the Government’s commitment of a registered nurse in residential aged care facilities 24/7 is met.

ACN CEO, Adjunct Professor Kylie Ward

“I have long advocated the importance of skilled migration as one solution to addressing nursing shortages we are seeing across all settings we deliver care including primary care, hospitals and EDs, aged care and mental health.

“As I said in the aftermath of the federal election, skilled migration as part of a suite of strategies is critical to ensuring the Government’s commitment of a registered nurse in residential aged care facilities 24/7 is met.

Ward said the nation’s health and aged care systems are in crisis as nurses and health professionals bravely lead their communities through a third winter of fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Urgent support measures, like those announced today, are essential to all Australians receiving high-quality nursing care for generations to come.”

Ward cautioned the Government regarding the importance of providing support for those who will move to Australia on a permanent basis to pursue a nursing career and stated this will be imperative for long term success.

The Government must ensure any nurses wishing to permanently move here are supported through all aspects of their journey, from completing the necessary education requirements to becoming a valued member of their local community and everywhere in-between.

Kylie Ward

“Any nurse who wishes to make our beautiful nation their home should be welcomed with open arms,” she said.

“However, the process is long, complex and difficult to navigate.

“The Government must ensure any nurses wishing to permanently move here are supported through all aspects of their journey, from completing the necessary education requirements to becoming a valued member of their local community and everywhere in-between.

“As I have constantly stated during the last few months, ACN stands willing to work with any jurisdiction to spearhead an international recruitment campaign to bring more nurses to our shores.”

“If we don’t welcome these nurses, another country will.”

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