Bonus payments to retain aged care nurses

Nurses who stay in the aged care sector will soon be eligible for bonus payments in a bid to bolster Australia's workforce.

Healthcare workers at the Arcare Aged Care facility in Maidstone, Melbourne on 1 June 2021.

Healthcare workers at the Arcare Aged Care facility in Maidstone, Melbourne on 1 June 2021. Source: AAP

Aged care nurses who stay in the sector will receive bonus payments in a federal government bid to boost the country's workforce.

Full-time registered nurses who work for the same aged care provider for 12 months can receive the $3700 payment in 2022 and 2023.

Part-time and casual registered nurses are eligible for the payment on a pro-rata basis.

It is expected to average $2700 a year for this cohort.

Nurses who work in a rural or remote area, have a postgraduate qualification or take on additional leadership and training responsibilities will be eligible for another $2300 on top.

The eligibility period for the 2022 payments opens on November 1 and runs until October 31 next year.

The second payment period runs from November 2022 until October 2023.

The measures, costing $135.6 million, were announced in the May federal budget.

"This payment recognises the integral role of registered nurses in delivering high-quality care for our most vulnerable," Health Minister Greg Hunt said on Monday.

"We hope it encourages aged care nurses to continue working with older Australians and incentivises nurses in other sectors to explore a career in aged care."

Labor's health spokesman Mark Butler accused the government of trying to rebrand old announcements.

He said the coalition had rejected, ignored or put off key recommendations from the aged care royal commission.

"Scott Morrison has ignored the recommendation to require a nurse to be on duty 24/7 in residential care," Mr Butler told AAP.

"This is core to improving clinical care for older Australians in residential care."


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Published 4 October 2021 at 2:39pm, updated 4 October 2021 at 3:01pm
Source: AAP

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