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Govt increases opportunities for nurses to have scholarships

01 April, 2008

Premier Morris Iemma has announced that the NSW Government will more than double the number of scholarships offered to the State's Enrolled Nurses.

Premier Iemma said it followed an overwhelming response to the Government's nursing scholarship program.

Mr Iemma said more than 400 Enrolled Nurses across the NSW would be offered scholarships to undertake a Bachelor of Nursing or Bachelor of Midwifery degree in 2008.

"The response to our election commitment of 200 scholarships has more than exceeded expectations," Mr Iemma said.

Mr Iemma said the scholarships would be offered to Enrolled Nurses working in more than 90 hospitals and health centres across NSW.

"I'm delighted that so many Enrolled Nurses working in the public health system want to take up this opportunity to enhance their qualifications and continue to provide nursing care to the people of NSW.

"We have been employing more Enrolled Nurses in recent years, and part of this has been to offer opportunities move forward in their nursing careers.

"Given such an overwhelming response - the Government wants to ensure that we can offer scholarships to all those who are eligible."

Minister for Health Reba Meagher said more than 400 Enrolled Nurses, currently working in the state's health system, would be offered up to $8,000 each to assist with their studies.

"That means the Iemma Government will be providing more than $2 million this year alone to help Enrolled Nurses upgrade their skills and qualifications to become registered nurses," Meagher said.

"Since 2002, we have increased the number of nurses in our public hospitals by more than 23 per cent, with more than 42,000 nurses employed in January 2008.

"These new scholarships are part of our commitment to attracting, retaining and building a highly skilled nursing and midwifery workforce to meet health needs of the people of NSW.

"In the past three years the Iemma Government has committed more than $25.4 million for nurses and midwives to undertake further study by providing scholarships and paid study leave," she said.

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