[The 1 September 2021 ‘On the Record’ email to members incorrectly links the Secretary’s Report to this article. Please click here to read ANMF (Vic Branch) Secretary Lisa Fitzpatrick’s report ‘I’m vaccinated because… ]
Studying a clinical specialty in nursing and midwifery is a strong desire for many but covering the cost can be difficult.
That’s why since 2018 ANMF has provided 668 members with grants, totalling $2.6 million, towards their postgraduate and post-registration education.
This year ANMF provided almost $740,000 to 221 members with the biggest investment going towards nurses wishing to study midwifery.
Importantly almost 30 per cent of members who received a 2020-21 ANMF fee grant live and work in regional Victoria.
The fee grant is a great benefit for ANMF members, the state’s health and aged care services and the Victorian community.
That’s because we focus on areas of clinical need.
Currently Victoria needs more nurses studying the graduate certificate/diploma in perioperative or perianaesthesia, palliative care, renal, critical care (intensive care unit/emergency/neonatal intensive care unit), addictive behaviours and aged care nursing.
We also need to boost numbers undertaking the graduate diploma in postgraduate midwifery, mental health nursing and maternal and child health.
And we hope more enrolled nurses will study the Advanced Diploma in Nursing offered in several clinical specialties.
Supporting our members will assist in continuing to meet implementation of the public sector nurse and midwife ratio improvements as well as contribute to further improvements.
The introduction of the Andrews Government’s Safe Patient Care Act 2015 amendments began in March 2019. This round of improvements will be in place by March 2023.
An additional 1100 nurses and midwives have and will be required to staff the new and improved ratios.
Finding that many extra nurses and midwives requires a short- and long-term strategy.
As part of the fix, the Andrews Government began offering the diploma of nursing as one of the free Victorian TAFE courses in 2019. The government’s $50 million workforce development fund is also providing more opportunities for nurses to undertake graduate and postgraduate and scholarship programs in metropolitan, regional and rural Victoria.
ANMF and our graduate and experienced members are also playing a role building the state’s capacity.
And the best part is we are working to grow the nursing and midwifery workforce and the numbers caring for patients at the bedside and in our ambulatory and community services.
ANMF (Vic Branch) has offered assistance to our colleagues at the New South Wales Nurses and Midwives Association.
Victorian nurses, midwives and personal care workers know the brutal uncertainty and shear exhaustion that comes with a prolonged outbreak. While not as high as everyone would like, vaccination is having an impact on the number of people requiring hospital care.
We hope the case numbers reduce quickly for NSW. In the meantime, we must all focus on vaccination as a way to protect ourselves, our friends and family and our patients.