APNA welcomes Government relief from student clinical ‘placement poverty

APNA welcomes the move to support student nurses and midwives on clinical placements.

Media Statement 6 May 2024

The Australian Primary Health Care Nurses Association (APNA) welcomes the Albanese Government support payments for student nurses and midwives undertaking clinical placement training as part of their path to finishing their qualifications.

APNA says providing means-tested nursing and midwifery students with $319.50 per week whilst they complete mandatory components of their training, is a positive move for students struggling with ‘placement poverty’.

APNA President Karen Booth said that the significant additional support will go a long way to help many nursing students with the cost of full-time study and keep on the path to finishing their qualifications as quickly as possible. She says, currently, 25% of nursing students study part time because they have been unable to afford to study full time.

“There are many reasons for delayed entry of new nursing and midwifery graduates into the workforce, including placement poverty,” Ms Booth said.

“I know first-hand what a difference this announcement will make to people’s lives as my son who is currently upgrading from enrolled nurse to a registered nurse has used all his annual leave entitlements and is now on leave without pay to finish is practicum placement of 800 hours.

“He has just finished two weeks of unpaid leave and will be back on unpaid practical leave for four more weeks to complete his training. This is a recipe for burnout. Our dedicated nursing and midwifery students deserve better than this.”

APNA CEO Ken Griffin described the paid clinical placements as a significant step forward in ensuring that nursing and midwifery student placements are more accessible throughout Australia.

“This will undoubtedly help all nursing students but will make it easier for students to consider rural placements which help address rural health workforce shortages. APNA looks forward to working with the Government to better co-ordinate much needed placements in rural areas.”


About the Australian Primary Health Care Nurses Association (APNA)

APNA represents over 96,000 primary health care nurses in Australia working outside of hospitals, including those employed in GP clinics, schools, aged care facilities, correctional facilities and in wider community settings.

Media contact: Sue Bellino 0400 188 825

The Australian Primary Health Care Nurses Association acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respects to elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.

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