Despite the severe shortage of nurses in aged care and hospitals, university admissions to nursing degrees are declining.
Tom Ristoski, director of industry partnerships at Notre Dame University in Perth, said the university’s mid-year admission would normally be filling up, but enrollment has been slow. He said the drop in demand could be due to the impact of COVID-19 on the healthcare sector.
“I think the concern of potential students is probably around COVID-19, the impacts of COVID-19 and the challenges they have encountered in the industry,” he told the ABC.
NDU tries to help students by arranging paid nursing assistant roles, where they can learn skills on the job.
Charles Darwin University has seen a similar trend in courses for community service workers, leading it to waive fees for its certificate courses in individual support, community services, physical fitness, mental health, paramedical health. and health services assistant.
Fees will be waived from the third quarter of 2022, with CDU College of Health and Humanities Dean Dominic Upton saying the initiative will help address worker shortages in aged care, as well than in other areas.
Clare Grieveson (pictured), CEO of aged care provider Southern Cross Care WA, said falling demand for nursing qualifications is “incredibly concerning”
“The elderly care sector is already experiencing a labor crisis,” Ms Grieveson told the ABC.
“The impact of these vacancies is that beds have to be closed.”
“A report commissioned by a group of aged care CEOs showed that last year staffing shortages prevented 340 elderly WA residents from entering aged care.”
Clare said Southern Cross Care has 4,000 shifts to fill each week. They have 12 RN positions open right now that they haven’t been able to fill.