Nurses rush to refresher training in response to pandemic

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Health minister Greg Hunt says more than 2,700 registered nurses have completed special training programs established in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mr Hunt said the federal government has provided $6.6 million for the delivery of two nurse training programs – one to refresh clinical skills and the other to provide training in critical and high dependency care in response to the pandemic.

He said that in addition to the 2,700 registered nurses who have completed the refresher training, almost 16,500 have completed critical care and/or high dependency care training.

“The training programs ­– separately developed and delivered by the Australian College of Nursing (ACN) and Medcast – significantly built up the skills and knowledge of Australian nurses and gave them greater confidence to redeploy to roles in response to COVID-19,” said Minister Hunt. 

“Training outcomes showed the online delivery mechanisms used were cost efficient, supported rapid access, and provided consistent education across multiple health networks and hospitals nationwide.

“As Australia and the world continue to navigate the COVID-19 health emergency, nurses remain at the forefront of our health care.

“I would like to thank every nurse who stepped up during this challenging time, working hard to aid the recovery of Australians sick with COVID-19. They have saved lives and protected lives.”

 Regional health minister Mark Coulton said nurses continue to play an essential role in stopping the spread of COVID-19 in regional, rural and remote communities.

“Our highly skilled nurses, along with our doctors and allied health workers, have been the true heroes of the pandemic,” said Minister Coulton.

“This Nurse Practitioner Week, I thank every nurse across Australia, and pass on my gratitude to those who completed their refresher training or upskilled in order to support the nation through such challenging times.

“Nurses are the lifeblood of rural communities, responding to complex health needs away from major hospitals, and this year has exemplified the vital and necessary role they play.”