TAFE NSW is training and delivering a pipeline of new nurses for the NSW healthcare system as the industry grapples with a critical skills shortage.
The most recent Health Workforce Australia report showed demand for nurses significantly exceeds supply, projecting a national shortfall of approximately 85,000 nurses by 2025.
Alexandra Fletcher is undertaking a Diploma of Nursing for free under JobTrainer at TAFE NSW Castle Hill and is switching to an industry offering plentiful job opportunities.
Since the NSW Government invested in JobTrainer 12 months ago, more than 136,000 people have undertaken free training and that number is growing by the day.
Alexandra, a 51-year-old lawyer from Wahroonga, already has a double science and law degree and has raised three children while enjoying a successful career as a conveyancer. However, with her kids now fully grown, she wanted to do something for herself and embark on the career she always wanted.
“The appeal of the TAFE NSW course was that it was hands-on and practical, and I would be trained for a specific job,” Alexandra said.
“I also loved that the course was 18 months. That felt that was a good amount of time to devote to study and begin a new career – I didn’t want to do another three-year degree. When I found out I was eligible for JobTrainer, I couldn’t quite believe it. I was prepared to pay for the course, but that made it so much sweeter, and I won’t incur a debt to change careers.”
TAFE NSW’s Team Leader of Nursing in Western Sydney, Rogers Kumar, said there has never been a better time to train as a nurse with extensive equipment upgrades at TAFE NSW Castle Hill, Kingswood, and Wetherill Park.
“TAFE NSW has great industry connections for students to complete placements and seek employment opportunities plus we have industry-qualified teachers and state-of-the-art learning equipment to teach the hands-on, practical skills students need,” Mr Kumar said.
“At TAFE NSW we are proud to help deliver the nurses that Western Sydney will need into the future. The Quarter health and education precinct in Penrith alone is expected to deliver 6,000 jobs in the next 10 years and we need new nurses and healthcare workers to meet that demand.”
Alexandra is looking forward to her first clinical placement now that COVID-19 restrictions have eased and finding out what aspects of nursing she is most passionate about.
“Nursing is like an ocean – you can swim in any direction,” Alexandra said.
“We’re being trained at TAFE NSW so we can walk straight into a hospital setting, but there is also work in immunization, public health, education, and more. It feels like there are a lot of opportunities in different fields, and that’s exciting.
“I often think, ‘Why didn’t I do this 30 years ago?’ The TAFE NSW teachers are so passionate and experienced, and they are always telling us it’s a great career and that we’ve made a fantastic choice. No-one ever said that when I was training to become a lawyer!”
Explore hundreds of courses and pursue your passion with life-changing training at TAFE NSW. For more information visit www.tafensw.edu.au or phone 131 601.
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