Upskilling nurses to support remote health across the Territory

NT Government

The Territory Labor Government is investing in its remote health workforce by implementing employment models that help to attract, upskill and retain nursing staff.

With more than one third of NT Health’s workforce made up of nurses and midwives, which last year totalled around 3000 staff, there is a variety of upskilling opportunities with 14 employed model programs in nursing and midwifery, allowing staff to combine university study with paid employment and on the job training.

So far this year more than 80 graduate nurses and midwives have entered the Territory workforce in the first intake, with an expectation of around 200 graduate nurses and midwives to join NT Health throughout the year.

These graduates will later have opportunities to participate in programs across a number of speciality areas, including remote area nursing.

Eight nurses are currently enrolled in the unique two-year population and primary health program, which was launched in January 2023. The program provides evidence-based, practical learnings in how to deliver culturally and clinically safe healthcare in a remote area combined with further tertiary education.

Through the program, registered nurses with at least 12 months of experience have the opportunity to work across a wide range of primary healthcare settings, such as prison health, urban community care health centres and hearing health, as well as working with specialist remote outreach teams visiting Aboriginal communities.

Currently, three program participants are living and working in Wurrumiyanga, Gunbalanya and Groote Eylandt communities, while others based in urban areas are providing care in remote settings through working with outreach teams.

The program is a Territory Government initiative that is working to increase the Territory’s remote nurse workforce, with participants invited to apply for NT Health remote area nursing vacancies on completion.

Quotes Attributable to Minister for Health Selena Uibo:

“Our Territory Labor Government is providing exciting and innovative opportunities to attract more health workers across rural and remote areas of the Territory.

“Our new employment model for more remote area nurses is proving to be an exciting opportunity for nurses who I am sure will fall in love with remote healthcare across the Territory.

“We have a variety of programs for upskilling nurses across the Territory context, which is attracting nurses and health workers.”

Northern Territory Government

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