APNA welcomes lower cost nursing degrees

Now we need placements

Media Release: 19 June 2020


  • More nursing graduates will arrest the impending workforce shortage of 123,000 nurses
  • However, there are shortages in nursing placements. These placements are needed before a nursing student graduates
  • Placements in primary health care are vital to keep Australia healthy

The Australian Primary Health Care Nurses Association (APNA) has welcomed the Federal Government’s overhaul of university fees, lowering the annual cost of nursing degree courses by 46% to $3,700 from 2021.

Commenting on the Government’s announcement today, APNA President Karen Booth said: “This is a major boost to our profession. It will attract many more students into nursing by making their university education more affordable.

“It also helps to address Australia’s predicted shortage of 123,000 nurses by 2030. Increasing the workforce pipeline is an important first step that needs to be supported by quality student placements, particularly in primary health care settings such as general practice and aged care.

“Even now there simply aren’t enough placement opportunities for student nurses in primary health care where health professionals are desperately needed to tackle our country’s rising rates of chronic disease and care for our ageing population.

“It is vital that nursing students are given the opportunity to experience the diversity of primary health care so they can make informed career choices.

“This issue needs to be urgently addressed given the existing backlog in nursing placements created by COVID-19. We have literally hundreds of nursing students waiting in the wings for placement opportunities so they can complete their education.”

Media inquiries: Tony Wells, 0417 627 916  tony.wells@apna.asn.au


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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