Promoting nursing as lifelong, rewarding career crucial


The Australian College of Nursing (ACN) is pushing for a national campaign aimed at promoting nursing as a lifelong and rewarding career.

In their 2024-25 Pre-Budget Submission, ACN emphasised the pivotal role of nursing in addressing the complex healthcare needs of Australia’s growing and ageing population.

“Governments must be more clever and more strategic with health budgets and health spending, especially with building the right health workforce to meet the needs of communities with increasingly complex and chronic health conditions,” says ACN CEO Adjunct Professor Kylie Ward FACN.

Ward stresses the urgent need for strategic investments in nursing workforce reforms. “Australia, like the rest of the world, is experiencing a health workforce crisis,” she says. “The shortages are being felt most severely in rural, regional and remote communities, and in isolated First Nations communities.”

With over 450,000 nurses and midwives providing care in Australia, nurses are often the most qualified health professionals living and working in many communities, especially in rural and remote areas, Ward said. “Nurses are highly regarded and respected in the community. People trust nurses and the care they provide in all settings.”

ACN’s submission proposes a coordinated strategy to retain and attract nurses, including educational incentives and targeted recruitment efforts. “We are presenting practical, achievable recommendations to build a nursing workforce in the right numbers with the right qualifications to serve the growing health needs of the Australian population,” Ward emphasises.

“Investing in nurses is a wise decision of government,” Ward states. “A national campaign to promote a positive career in nursing – with many roles in many different locations and opportunities for advancement – would help attract people, especially young people, male and female, to the best profession in the world.”

Ward concludes by reaffirming the leadership and innovation demonstrated by nurses in healthcare. “Nurses are highly skilled, versatile, mobile, flexible, and have access to postgraduate education and training opportunities to constantly improve their knowledge and skills,” she says. “Nurses are the solution.”

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