Aged Care Aged Care

Helping Hand’s program for RNs attracts one-third of required staff

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Helping Hand has partnered with ACCPA to attract and retain staff in aged care through a 2-year program that provides mentorship, professional development and the opportunity to specialise in an area of choice for graduate RNs.

Australia’s aged care industry is in a state of rapid growth, but with a severe shortage of staff and significant reform underway following the Royal Commission, providers are feeling the pressure to attract and retain nurses. That’s why Helping Hand has partnered with the Aged & Community Care Providers Association (ACCPA) to help graduate registered nurses transition into the sector.

The 12-month Aged Care Nurse Transition to Practice Program, developed by ACCPA, provides mentorship, online professional development sessions and portfolio development to guide nurses in their first year of clinical practice. Helping Hand has taken this program to the next level by providing two years of engagement, localised learning and the opportunity to specialise in an area of choice during the second year, along with open access to mentors and clinical educators.

The program has so far attracted 12 registered nurses to Helping Hand’s workforce. These nurses, like Megha Boban and Molly Han, come from diverse backgrounds and are drawn to Helping Hand’s supportive and practical approach to learning. Megha, who completed her Bachelor of Nursing in Toowoomba before moving to Adelaide, was eager to work with the elderly and fascinated by dementia and cognitive impairment. She was thrilled to be stationed in North Adelaide’s Memory Support Unit, where she felt like she was learning from the best.

Molly, who completed a Bachelor of Science (Medical Science) in Sydney before moving to Adelaide to pursue a Master of Clinical Nursing, was also delighted to discover Helping Hand’s program. She appreciated the opportunity to apply theory in a hands-on capacity and gain confidence before being thrown onto the floor.

Helping Hand’s CEO, Chris Stewart, is thrilled by the program’s success, which has attracted one-third of the number of new registered nurses needed to meet the industry’s growing demand. With new RN requirements coming into effect on July 1, 2023, and a mandated 200 minutes of care per day from October this year, the demand for staff is set to increase even further.

By partnering with ACCPA and offering an attractive two-year program that provides a pathway from study to practice, Helping Hand is committed to ensuring that the aged care workforce is both stimulating and supported.

Source: Helping Hand.

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