There are 1,500 scholarships up for grabs over three years for nurses, personal care workers and allied health professionals working in aged care to further their vocational, undergraduate and post graduate studies.
The scholarships cover a range of study areas including palliative care, dementia care and infection prevention and control. They also includes a guaranteed minimum 20 scholarships per year for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, said chief nursing and midwifery officer Adjunct Professor Alison McMillian.
Applications for the aged care scholarship program – which includes health professionals for the first time – are now open until 5 May for studies in 2022.
Chief allied health officer Dr Anne-Marie Boxall said offering scholarships for allied health professionals would enhance aged care quality.
“This first-time investment in allied health scholarships recognises the important role of these professionals in aged care, and the focus on dementia-related qualifications will lift the quality of care in this core business for aged care,” Dr Boxall said.
Aged care quality manager Belinda, who studied nursing several years ago, said she highly recommended scholarships to others working in the aged care sector.
“I studied a Bachelor of Nursing as a mature-aged student and used the scholarship money to help support me and my family while completing the study. The scholarship funds allowed me to take leave without pay to finalise my placements, without having to worry about a wage. It helped me to graduate faster, accelerate my career and enabled me to learn so many different skills,” she said.
Aged care registered nurse Isobel, who is undertaking a Graduate Certificate in Leadership and Management with a focus on healthcare, said the scholarship meant she could afford to study despite being a single parent of two children.
“Having a scholarship made me continue the course, even when it was hard, and it would have been much easier to just quit,” she said.
“I would definitely recommend the scholarships to those who work in aged care. I feel like a lot of what the scholarship has done for me is give me confidence in my work, and help me change some of my approaches.”
Scholarship recipients may be eligible for a completion bonus on successfully finishing their course. Find out more about the Aged Care Nursing and Allied Health Dementia Care Scholarship Program and other scholarships on offer on the Australian College of Nursing website.