The federal government has announced a new round of scholarships for aged care nurses under the Supporting a Professional Aged Care Workforce Program.
The Minister for Mental Health and Ageing, Mark Butler, said the scholarships are designed to boost clinical care and create career paths in aged care.
They can be used for continuing education courses, postgraduate studies and courses leading towards a nurse practitioner qualification.
“By supporting appropriate training for existing aged care workers to develop necessary skills, we will improve recruitment and retention of aged care nurses and deliver quality care to the increasing ageing population,” said Mr Butler.
Funding for the Professional Aged Care Workforce Program was developed in the 2010-2011 Budget.
The program will provide up to 1,240 postgraduate and continuing education scholarships over four years. It will support up to 40 new aged care nurse practitioners.
Registered nurses are able to apply for postgraduate and nurse practitioner scholarships worth up to $15,000 over two years.
Enrolled nurses are eligible for a $3,000 conference attendance scholarship, a $5,000 short course scholarship and a $6,000, two-year scholarship for re-entry courses.
Mr Butler said workforce development was an important part of the government’s commitment to far-reaching aged care reform.
“These reforms will build on our current strengths and reshape the system to better meet the needs of patients and health care in the 21st century,” he said.
Applications for the scholarships will close on Friday, 4 November 2010. Interested nurses can contact the Royal College of Nursing Australia on 1800 116 696 or download information packs from www.rcna.org.au.