Graduate nurses and midwives need Government support too

Wednesday 21st November, 2012

The Australian Nursing Federation (ANF) has questioned why the Federal Government is backing a new campaign aimed at attracting young doctors and medical students to rural practice – but not supporting more jobs for graduate nurses and midwives.

“Whilst we welcome the Federal Government’s assistance in providing better health services for rural communities overall, we would like to know why graduate nurses and midwives are being left out?” ANF Federal Secretary, Lee Thomas, asked today.

“The Government offers a range of incentives to assist doctors and medical students move into rural practice, such as relocation payments from metropolitan areas, yet it continues to pass the buck when it comes to the issue of ensuring employment for Australia’s nurses and midwives, particularly in rural and regional communities.

“Rural nurses and midwives are vital in delivering quality care throughout regional communities with often limited access to health services.

“That’s why the ANF continues to call on the Federal Government to work with State and Territory Governments to find solutions to the growing shortage of nurses and midwives across the country by funding a range of strategies to ensure employment of graduate nurses and midwives and the ongoing promotion of safe patient care.”

Launched on Monday, the ANF’s new national campaign, Stop passing the buck, Australia's nursing grads need jobs, has resulted in 900 emails of support and more than 1000 “likes” on the campaign’s Facebook page.

The campaign’s strategies include Waiving HECS fees for graduates who accept employment in areas of need; Funding by State and Federal governments of 24hour 7/ week clinical supervision and mentoring, and Rotation through non-traditional graduate areas such as primary care, aged care as well as acute settings.

For more information, go to the campaign page here.

The ANF, with over 220,000 members, is the professional and industrial voice for nurses, midwives and assistants in nursing in Australia.

Media Contact: The Premier Communications Group on 02 9247 3337