The Australian College of Nursing (ACN) welcomed the joint announcement today from The Hon Greg Hunt MP Minister for Health and Aged Care, The Hon Dr David Gillespie MP Minister for Regional Health and The Hon David Coleman MP Assistant Minister for Mental Health and Suicide Prevention – to establish a new $5.15 million scholarship program to grow and upskill the mental health and suicide prevention workforce.
Chief Executive Officer of ACN, Adjunct Professor Kylie Ward FACN today welcomed the announcement.
“This announcement is important for the nursing workforce nationally who are dealing with COVID-positive patients and their families as well as non-COVID health concerns of consumers. Everyone is anxious and struggling right now, and much of our workforce is bearing the brunt of that anxiety.
We also know that much of this is being felt particularly in rural and remote regions where the workforce is stretched right now. Nurses want to care for their patients and to support their patients’ families and loved ones, and scholarships are essential for this education to be accessible.
I’m really pleased that the Australian Government has recognised the need for postgraduate education and vocational training for nurses and for our colleagues in psychology and allied health, who are also working hard alongside nurses in rural and remote areas to support their patients’ mental health care needs every day.” Adjunct Professor Ward said.
The ACN will work closely with the Australian Government to implement the Mental Health Nursing and Allied Health Scholarship Program. The Program will provide 278 scholarships to support mental health nurses and allied health practitioners including psychologists to enter the mental health workforce, in addition to upskilling existing health practitioners in the mental health sector.
It is expected eligible individuals will be able to apply for a place from November 2021 through the ACN’s website.