Home | Industry & Reform | Albanese Government delivers 24/7 nursing mandate
Labor's promise of 24/7 RN's was fulfilled last week, when Aged Care Minister Anika Wells announced 98 per cent of homes were on track. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Martin Ollman

Albanese Government delivers 24/7 nursing mandate

The Albanese Government has fulfilled its promise of implementing the 24/7 nursing mandate across aged care facilities.

From July 1, aged care homes were required to have a registered nurse on-site for 24 hours, seven days a week.

A month after the reform, Aged Care Minister Anika Wells announced that 98 per cent of homes had an RN on-site.

"24/7 registered nursing is not just a pass or fail," Ms Wells said.

"Data from across our aged care reforms continues to demonstrate a positive trajectory that we are confident will lift the standard of care in the aged care system even further with the introduction of mandatory care minutes targets on 1 October."

"This is what caring for some of our most vulnerable people looks like. I want to thank the nurses who voted with their feet and returned to aged care."

Alongside 98 per cent of RN on-site, results from the first month showed an RN was on-site for an average of 23.5 hours, and 86 per cent of aged care facilities had an RN on-site 24/7.

Chief of The Australian College of Nursing, Kylie Ward, said the announcement was a great comfort for residents and their families.

“Older Australians deserve the best of care at this stage of their lives, and quality nursing care around the clock is an assurance of safety and security," Ms Ward said.

"Working with the Government, ACN is leading the way to upskill and empower nurses to become the clinical and professional leaders in residential aged care in Australia."

Older Persons Advocacy Network (OPAN) welcomed the announcement, with OPAN’s chief Craig Gear saying it was a step toward major improvement for the aged-care sector.

"The figures suggest we can now build to significantly improve care for older people living in aged care homes," Mr Gear said.

"OPAN congratulates the sector – in particular, aged care providers – on achieving this positive outcome in the face of significant workforce challenges."

Mr Gear said the Government’s exemptions for the struggling providers needed a more explicit timeline.

"We acknowledge that rural, regional, and remote aged-care homes face additional challenges, but the timeline for these exemptions must be clearly defined and regularly reviewed."

"In such circumstances, older people must have access to alternative arrangements, and there must be rigorous oversight of the efficacy of these arrangements."

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  1. They are all Agency RNs, it is not sustainable, the cost to Providers is astronomical. Nurses aren’t returning to Aged Care, the Agency RNs are simply making the most of an opportunity.

  2. I think that Minister Wells is blissfully unaware of the absolute chaos this has created.
    We now have nurses from agencies who are demand astronomical prices and because we are being held over a barrel, they are getting them. They turn up, have no invested interest other than wanting to work every penalty shift. Perhaps my experience is a one off but I highly doubt it. The rhetoric coming out of this government is embarrassing.

  3. Question: why RNs only when EENs can fulfill much of what is required and cost less.

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