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Nursing to be reviewed for the first time in over a decade

Nursing preparation might be set for an overhaul – Senator Bridget McKenzie has announced an independent review into the education of nurses.

The deputy leader of The Nationals said the review, the first of its kind since 2002, will also look at ensuring the nursing profession remains an attractive career option for students, that career pathways remain relevant and that Australia’s nursing education system is internationally competitive.

“It will also look at the nursing requirements of regional Australia which is critical as we look towards increasing the number of health professionals outside of our capital cities,” McKenzie said.

“Nurses hold a very special place in our community and the medical profession, and we want to make sure this continues to be the case.”

Emeritus Professor Steven Schwartz will undertake the review, called Educating the Nurse of the Future.

McKenzie said Schwartz brings real-world commercial involvement to the role. “In particular, his experience as Vice Chancellor for three universities demonstrates that he understands the changing role of these institutions and how they need to reflect the demands of the nursing profession,” she explained.

Per its Terms of Reference, the review will examine:

  • the effectiveness of current educational preparation of and articulation between enrolled and registered nurses and nurse practitioners in meeting the needs of health service delivery
  • factors that affect the choice of nursing as an occupation, including for men
  • the role and appropriateness of transition to practice programs however named, and
  • the competitiveness and attractiveness of Australian nursing qualifications across international contexts.
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