The Australian College of Nursing (ACN) acknowledges the health initiatives the Victorian government has invested in are a good start to securing the future of the nursing workforce to deliver safe care to Victorians.

“Victoria’s 2018-19 Budget demonstrates commitment and awareness to what is required to enhance an already strong health system and provide care for Victorians into the future,” Australian College of Nursing CEO Adjunct Professor Kylie Ward said.

“Education is an integral aspect of ensuring a sustainable health workforce. Providing free Diploma courses to eligible students will make nursing more accessible for all Victorians for whom this is their calling and help supply meet demand.

“Today’s announcement will assist and support nursing professionals to complete their training and be properly equipped to provide care.”

The Diploma of Nursing is one of the courses on the TAFE list to be provided for free to eligible students, however certificates in mental health, disability and allied health assistance are also being offered with no tuition fees.

The boost to mental health funding also includes 89 extra beds and six emergency department crisis hubs. ACN would like to see other state governments provide similar investments in mental health care.

“The Australian College of Nursing will be watching closely over the coming year to see how the workforce will be further supported by the Victorian Government and what outcomes are achieved,” said Adjunct Professor Ward.

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