The value and centrality of nurses in delivery of quality care for older Australians is clearly identified in the Aged Care Workforce Strategy Taskforce report titled ‘A matter of care – a strategy for Australia’s aged care workforce’.

“The report released today highlights the essential role nurses play in the aged care sector,” said Australian College of Nursing CEO, Adjunct Professor Kylie Ward FACN.

“We welcome the call for nurses in aged care to be better valued both in terms of salary and their skills and ability.

“As the report noted, and the nursing profession has been saying for some time, nurses are being expected to do many tasks in aged care that take them away from clinical care and this means residents do not get the care they deserve.

“Clear career paths in aged care and salaries that reflect the complexity of care provided in aged care settings will help attract and keep nurses in aged care.”

According to the report, the aged care workforce needs to almost triple from 366,000 to approximately one million by 2050 to meet demand.

“The Australian College of Nursing commends the Taskforce for not recommending ‘quick fixes’ such as staffing quotas, but rather looking at a strategic approach to workforce planning and skills mix modelling,” said Adjunct Professor Ward.

“ACN looks forward to the nursing profession being consulted on how the recommendations of the Taskforce can be most effectively implemented to ensure all Australians can access high quality care as they grow older.”

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