Who is Supporting Undergraduate Nursing and Midwifery Students to Go Bush?

27 Jan 2010

It is unbe­liev­able to think that nurs­es pro­vide over 80% of all health ser­vices in remote Aus­tralia but are con­tin­u­al­ly over looked when it comes to sup­port­ing the work­force”, said Mr Wyber-Hugh­es, CEO of CRANAplus.

We must find ways to encour­age and sup­port the next gen­er­a­tion of Remote Area Nurs­es (RANS) and mid­wives. Schemes like the John Fly­nn schol­ar­ship work for med­ical stu­dents and sim­i­lar schemes could be just as effec­tive for nurs­ing and mid­wifery stu­dents want­i­ng to learn about remote health”, said Mr Cliffe, Pres­i­dent of CRANAplus.

The real­i­ty is that trav­el­ling to a remote place­ment is expen­sive and the cost of liv­ing there is often high­er. With­out finan­cial sup­port to address these prob­lems many stu­dent nurs­es con­sid­er­ing a remote place­ment pri­or to work­ing in remote loca­tions give up. We have lost them before we have got them.

CRANAplus has lob­bied long and hard for a well-fund­ed schol­ar­ship pro­gram to sup­port the RAN work­force. Put sim­ply, it is the RANs who pro­vide the over­whelm­ing major­i­ty of health care to remote Aus­tralians, if we do not invest in the future RANs, then there will be few or no health ser­vices in remote Aus­tralia in the near future’ said Mr Wyber-Hughes.

CRANAplus calls of all major polit­i­cal par­ties to acknowl­edge the need to invest in the future RAN work­force and make a com­mit­ment to resource schol­ar­ship access equal across all health disciplines.