Thousands of nurses to get intensive care training online ahead of coronavirus deployment

A nurse at the Tanunda medical centre screens patients outside the clinic in the Barossa Valley, northeast of Adelaide, Tuesday, March 31, 2020 Source: AAP

Nurses will get government-funded intensive care training to bolster the health system.

Thousands of registered nurses will undertake online courses to prepare for deployment in intensive care wards during the coronavirus pandemic.

Up to 20,000 nurses will train for high demand and intensive care needs, including fitting ventilators.

The government is also funding up to 10,000 refresher courses for out-of-work nurses to bolster the health sector.

Australia's chief nurse Alison McMillan said the online courses would be as good as hands-on training for nurses.

"The company that we have contracted to do this has got more than 25 years of experience in this type of education," she told ABC radio on Thursday.

Ms McMillan said nursing was not necessarily a dangerous job because of coronavirus, but it was challenging.

"We really do appreciate that this is a worrying time."

The specialist courses will cost Australian taxpayers $4.1 million.

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