Payment to retain aged-care nurses

Wednesday, 06 October, 2021

Payment to retain aged-care nurses

The federal government is providing bonus payments to aged-care nurses in a bid to encourage them to stay in the sector.

“This payment recognises the integral role of registered nurses in delivering high-quality care for our most vulnerable,” said Minister for Health and Aged Care, Greg Hunt.

Hunt said the government hopes the initiative encourages nurses to continue “working with older Australians and incentivises nurses in other sectors to explore a career in aged care”.

Under the initiative, full-time registered nurses can receive a payment of $3700 for each year and part-time and casual registered nurses can receive payment on a pro-rata basis, averaging $2700 each year.

On top of these payments, nurses can receive up to an additional $2300 if they work in a rural or remote area, hold a postgraduate qualification or take on additional leadership or training responsibilities in their workplace.

Registered nurses working for the same aged-care provider for 12 months will be eligible for the payment in both 2022 and 2023. Minister for Senior Australians and Aged Care Services Richard Colbeck said the additional payment was extra recognition for the extraordinary work done by aged-care nurses.

“This additional payment acknowledges the challenges faced by aged-care nurses, particularly those working in rural and remote settings,” he said.

“We also want to recognise those registered nurses who go above and beyond to deliver high-quality care to older Australians.”

There will be two eligibility periods for the payment, and eligible nurses will be able to receive both payments if they are employed for the 12-month periods — 1 November 2021 to 31 October 2022 and 1 November 2022 to 31 October 2023.

Aged-care providers will need to apply for the Aged Care Registered Nurse Payment on behalf of their nursing workforce, in a non-competitive grant process.

Minister Hunt said providers should highlight the payment in their recruitment processes. “Aged-care nursing is a rewarding and sustainable career path, and the government is supporting the workforce to grow and skill,” he said.

“The payment will help to attract and retain skilled, compassionate and professional registered nurses to aged care.”

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