The Australian College of Nursing (ACN) is pleased to see the 2022-23 Victorian Budget provide much-needed support for workforce shortages in the nursing profession.
Key measures include training and hiring 5,000 new nurses and a recruitment drive for up to 2,000 international health care workers to help the state’s post-pandemic recovery,
“I welcome the Victorian Government’s investment in bolstering the nursing workforce, a priority I have been advocating all Australian Governments address throughout the COVID-19 pandemic,” ACN CEO Adjunct Professor Kylie Ward FACN said.
“I particularly welcome the focus on recruiting skilled health care workers from overseas but reiterate this should be conducted as part of a multi-pronged strategy including a focus on retaining an existing workforce and providing employment for newly graduating nurses in a supported environment. I have been a long-time champion of advocating for the skills and expertise highly qualified overseas nurses and health professionals bring to improving the health of all Australians.
“ACN stands willing to work with the Victorian Government and any Government around the country who is committed to skilled migration as a key measure in addressing workforce shortages.”
Adjunct Professor Ward also welcomed the Budget’s commitment to support the mental health of the nursing and health workforce.
“Victorian nurses and health professionals have worked tirelessly to protect their communities in exceptionally challenging circumstances during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Adjunct Professor Ward FACN said.
“I am pleased to see that 600 more nurses and midwives will have access to one-on-one psychological support, as well as the expansion of Victoria’s Healthcare Worker Wellbeing Centre program. This is only a small number compared to total numbers, but it is a start. Nurses in Victoria and Australia are exhausted after all they have been through in the last two years and their health and wellbeing must remain a top priority for Governments.
“With International Nurses Day only a week away, this budget is an important reminder of the importance of investing in the nursing profession to ensure our communities remain healthy for generations to come.”