Saturday, July 13, 2024

New Australian-first program to upskill NT nurses

The Northern Territory Government has launched a new two-year program to support nurses gain relevant skills, experience and knowledge in population and primary health care (PPHC) with a specific focus on remote area nursing.

Chief Minister and Minister for Health, Natasha Fyles said attracting and retaining staff was critical to ensuring the delivery of strong health services in our regions. 

“Remote health care nurses make a significant difference to the quality of life for remote Territorians and we want to see more health care workers take on these positions,” said the Chief Minister.

“This new two-year program is a first for the Territory. We want to make sure the training of our health professionals out bush is best practice and lifesaving.

“The Territory is home to amazing training opportunities, and we want to facilitate learning while also growing our nursing workforce.”

The NT Health initiative is the only two-year program of its kind in Australia.

The program will help deliver primary health care to vulnerable patients, as well as high-quality acute and emergency services. It will run over two years with the achievement of a university postgraduate certificate and is aimed at nurses with a minimum of one year of experience as a registered nurse.

Over the program, participants are placed in urban primary health care settings, such as prison health, urban community care health centres, hearing health, the Centre for Disease Control and urban allied health and aged care services, and will rotate through these services to learn the basic principles and practices of primary health care.

The first intake of three nurses commenced in January this year and completed the first program phase in Greater Darwin. These nurses have now transitioned into the second phase of the program, providing care with remote outreach programs.

The second cohort of six nurses commenced this month and will complete the first program phase across Greater Darwin, the Big Rivers region and the East Arnhem region.

During the final phase of the program, participants will live and work in a remote community, applying advanced principles and practices of remote health care.

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