Nursing staff will increase this week as 100 new graduates begin starting shifts at hospitals across Western Australia.
The new starters are among 600 new nurses set to join the WA health system over the next two years.
There will be 300 new nurses this year, including 100 general graduate nurses and midwives, 100 newly qualified enrolled nurses and 100 graduate nurses for our mental health services.
In total, there will be more than 1,000 newly qualified nurses joining the health system this year.
Next year a further 300 newly qualified nurses will be employed in the health system.
The graduates posted to mental health settings this year will address a key area of need. The first of these new mental health nurses started in their roles this week.
In all, an extra 200 newly qualified nurses are in addition to the McGowan Government’s election commitment of 400 new nurse graduate placements into the public system over the next two years.
The McGowan Government is investigating innovative nursing graduate programs to speed up the employment of graduates into the health system and support their safe transition to practice.
Over the past year, COVID-19 has hindered efforts to attract staff from outside WA.
Existing efforts to actively recruit staff will be boosted by the launch of a State Government advertising campaign to target appropriately skilled and experienced health staff to fill ‘in-demand’ roles.
Speciality areas of mental health, intensive care, emergency care, perioperative care and midwifery are being targeted.
The campaign will have a strong digital focus, with a new dedicated landing page on the WA Health website, complementing the recruitment efforts of individual WA health services.
The deployment of nurses to WA’s COVID-19 response is also under immediate review with the aim of getting senior nurses back into hospitals and clinics as quickly as possible.
As stated by Health Minister Roger Cook:
“Nurses and midwives are the backbone of Western Australia’s health system and at the forefront of compassionate, safe healthcare.
“We want to ensure we support them by employing more graduate nurses and attracting more nurses back into the health system.
“The addition of 100 graduate nurses immediately into our hospitals will make a difference.
“We have also committed to employing 600 new nurses over the next two years – adding an extra 200 to our original election commitment of 400 new nurses.
“On top of this WA Health is launching a national and international recruitment drive to bring more experienced nurses into the health system.
“Creating jobs is a key part of the McGowan Government’s agenda.
“These initiatives will help us improve the effectiveness and long-term sustainability of our healthcare system.”