Thousands of nurses and midwives will learn new skills in high-demand areas of specialist need under a series of training programs being rolled out across the state.
Scholarships are now on offer for up to 3000 health workers to fast-track their skills and meet growing demand in areas such as aged, mental health, emergency, palliative and renal care.
Of those, the first 300 nurses have already been selected to start their 13-week course this month and specialise in a field of their choice while boosting capacity at their workplace.
In a separate initiative, applications are also now open for a further 1600 nurses and midwives to take part in a funded online training program.
That program will rapidly upskill participants in intensive care and high dependency nursing – two areas currently experiencing a surge in demand.
Both programs form part of the $6.9m SA Health Nursing and Midwifery Skills and Training Package, which will be delivered over the next three years.
Premier Peter Malinauskas said the new package comes as COVID-19 continues to have an impact on our health workforce, highlighting the need for targeted investment to support frontline nurses and midwives and provide access to further training – regardless of where they live.
SA Health is partnering with three leading education providers, each focused on a different program to meet clinical need in metropolitan, regional and rural areas:
Clinical Specialisation Program – University of South Australia (3000 scholarships)
ICU and HDU Upskilling Program – University of Melbourne (1600 funded training positions)
Nursing and Midwifery Graduate Program – Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (Number of places to be finalised late 2022)
The graduate program will begin in 2023 to coincide with next year’s intake, consisting of three new courses to help speed up graduates’ development in their first year of clinical and professional practice.
This program will be run by the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation which will work alongside SA Health to support and upskill our newest graduates.
“Nurses and midwives are the backbone of our health system, it is vital we do everything we can to provide opportunities to equip them with the right skills, knowledge and values they need, Premier Malinauskas said.
Chief Nurse and Midwifery Officer Professor Jenny Hurley said the initiative provided unique opportunities for nursing and midwifery professionals to undertake a diverse range of essential clinical care roles, and access new accelerated advanced graduate pathways.
“This new training package will give our public hospital system a much-needed boost and allow us to build on our nursing and midwifery capability and capacity into the future,” she said.