Wednesday, April 24, 2024

New program to boost ACT health workforce

A new program to help attract and retain nursing, midwifery and allied health students in the ACT is now available.

The Nursing, Midwifery and Allied Health Study Incentive Program will support new and existing students studying eligible qualifications at the University of Canberra and Australian Catholic University.

“Canberra is a fantastic place for people to study, work and live. Our universities provide great opportunities for people to learn and acquire the skills they need to support a successful career,” said ACT Chief Minister, Andrew Barr.

“As Canberra grows and we invest more in our community health and hospital infrastructure, we want to ensure we have a workforce that is highly skilled and supported to deliver quality health outcomes for the ACT.

“The Nursing, Midwifery and Allied Health Study Incentive Program has been developed in consultation with our university partners to ensure we can attract and retain healthcare students in an increasingly competitive market.”

The program will be administered by each university and comprise two streams:

  • Cost of Living Stipend: up to $3000 per annum over three years to eligible students commencing their studies in 2024 to ease cost of living pressures while studying.
  • Placement Support Grants: up to $1000 per clinical placement for eligible students studying eligible qualifications to provide financial support during their placements.

In April 2023, the ACT Government convened a student round table as part of the ACT Health Workforce Strategy 2023-2032 to hear from the Territory’s future health workforce about the support they need for their careers.

A key recommendation from the student round table was to provide financial support to students during clinical placement and this incentive program has been designed to support both incoming students in the ACT and those completing clinical placements.

The program will support students in eligible nursing, midwifery and allied health degrees and enable our universities to remain competitive in the market.

The program will target domestic students primarily in undergraduate degrees and some postgraduate qualifications. The incentives are focused on areas of critical workforce need in the ACT across allied health, nursing and midwifery.

“We heard clearly through the Student Roundtable, an early action in the ACT Health Workforce Strategy, that supporting our future healthcare workers to overcome placement poverty is vital as we continue to grow a sustainable health workforce in the ACT,” said Minister for Health, Rachel Stephen-Smith.

“This support will help ease some of the financial burden on nursing, midwifery and allied health students, so they can focus on their studies and clinical placements.

“We are committed to the wellbeing of our nurses, midwives and allied health professionals, and we know that a better supported workforce can deliver even better health services for Canberrans.”

Students who may be eligible are encouraged to speak to their university representatives who will be administering the application process:

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