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The Australian College of Nursing welcomes all the nursing students who are beginning their tertiary studies around the country and calls for more initiatives to facilitate quality clinical placements for nursing students.
“Nursing is the largest single health profession in Australia and nurses are integral to all patient care – from dental and cosmetic, to school health, to acute and primary health through to aged care and everything in between,” Australian College of Nursing CEO, Adjunct Professor Kylie Ward said.
“There are approximately 308,000 nurses and midwives currently employed in Australia, but Australian Government research tells us we need to significantly lift our game in terms of supporting graduates to pursue a nursing career.”
According to Australia’s Future Health Workforce – Nurses, demand for nurses will significantly exceed supply – with a potential shortfall of more than 100,000 nurses by 2030 under current settings.
“This report tells us it is vital to improve retention of nursing students within education, lift employment rates following graduation and increase early career retention,” Adjunct Professor Ward explained. “Access to quality clinical placements continues to be a challenge for education providers across the country. Positive experiential learning is key in supporting nurses to successfully transition from study to practice and novice to expert.
“We are so pleased to see all of the people who have chosen to start studying nursing this year at university or TAFE, around 40,000 based on figures from previous cohorts. They are taking the first steps towards a rewarding and exciting career that provides immense opportunities.
“In 2017, the Australian College of Nursing is, for the first time, offering every nursing undergraduate student the opportunity to join ACN as a start-up member, Adjunct Professor Ward revealed. “We want students to be aware of the support and assistance ACN provides to help move from student to career nurse. Undergraduate Membership includes career coaching and access to mentoring from nurse leaders. Through this partnership, we hope we can share with them the many types of nursing careers available and the doors nursing can open over a lifetime in order to encourage them to gain their qualifications, enter the profession and stay.
“ACN commends governments on the scholarships available to enable registered nurses to undertake further training. We encourage all nurses, including those beginning their undergraduate studies this year, to undertake lifelong learning.
“We will continue to represent the profession at the highest levels and provide support to nurses in all settings and at all stages of their career to ensure Australia has a sustainable nursing workforce.”