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Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 15442

Australian Hospital Nursing Schools

Photo of Howard, John

Howard, John

Period of Service: 11/03/1996 to 03/12/2007

More information about Howard, John on The National Archive website.

Release Date: 14/09/2007

Release Type: Media Release

Transcript ID: 15442

I am pleased to announce that the Australian Government will invest about $170 million additional funds over five years to create 25 Australian Hospital Nursing Schools to deliver hospital based training within major public and private hospitals across the country for enrolled nurses.

The establishment of the Australian Hospital Nursing Schools is a significant health and education reform which will reinstate the best of hospital-based training where nurses learn on the job.

Students will receive practical, clinically-focussed education and nationally recognised qualifications at diploma or advanced diploma level. There would also be the opportunity for these enrolled nurses to later upgrade their skills to a registered nurse level.

Selected hospitals will receive infrastructure funding from the Australian Government for educational facilities to be developed onsite. Funding will also be available for up to four clinical training staff at participating hospitals.

The first intake of students is expected to commence in 2008, with more than 500 additional enrolled nurses undertaking training annually once the measure is fully implemented. Participating hospitals will pay trainees' salaries until they achieve their qualifications. The Australian Government will provide wage subsidies to hospital nursing schools for each student for the first 3 months of $500 per week to assist the schools to provide their students with a wage. The Australian Government will also pay the hospital nursing schools a $1,500 commencement bonus and $2,500 completion bonus for each student. In addition to these payments to the hospital nursing schools, the Australian Government will directly pay each student a tax-free bonus of $2,000 once they have successfully completed their first 6 months of the course, and a further tax-free bonus of $3,000 when they have successfully completed the course. These payments, costing almost $20 million over 5 years, will ensure that in addition to receiving high quality nursing training, students will be provided with an incentive to undertake their training through a hospital nursing school.

This new initiative recognises the need for more nurses in our health system and will assist both public and private hospitals by providing additional nurse training opportunities. It will complement the current nurse training occurring in Australia's universities and is over and above the significant additional nursing places that the Australian Government will continue to fund in universities.

Transcript 15442