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THE POWER OF CARE: How TAFE NSW Cootamundra is helping future-proof local nurse workforce

TAFE NSW Cootamundra

THE POWER OF CARE: How TAFE NSW Cootamundra is helping future-proof local nurse workforce

CARING KIND: TAFE NSW Cootamundra graduate Blessa Tolentina is eyeing a career as an operating theatre nurse.

10 May 2024

The national peak body for nurses has highlighted the important role TAFE NSW Cootamundra is playing to address a skills shortage in the region and helping future-proof the local nursing workforce.

In the lead up to International Nurses Day on 12 May, the Australian Primary Health Care Nurses Association (APNA) said there was never a more important time to invest in the future of nursing, saying training providers like TAFE NSW were critical.

Research by Health Workforce Australia found that due to an ageing workforce and growing population, there could be a national shortfall of 100,000 nurses by 2025.

APNA CEO Ken Griffith described TAFE NSW [insert campus]’s role in training the next generation as a “positive sign for Australia’s health”.

“It’s essential that nurses entering the health system are trained well and can have the opportunity to develop their skills where we need them most, particularly in primary health care and in rural and remote settings,” Mr Griffin said. 

“The increased interest in studying nursing at TAFE NSW is a positive sign for Australia’s health. 

“We know that nursing is a fulfilling career. The role that Enrolled Nurses play in the health care system is vital and this will only grow over the coming years.”

The theme of the 2024 International Nurses Day is “Our Nurses. Our Future. The economic power of care”, aimed at highlighting the social, health and economic value nurses bring and encouraging governments to invest more into the profession.

The NSW Government is investing $3 million over the next three years to upgrade nurse training facilities at TAFE NSW campuses across the state.

Young resident Blessa Tolentino, 22, is one of many TAFE NSW Cootamundra graduates armed with the practical skills and work experience to make a running start into hernursing career. Ms Tolentino is now working as an aged care nurse and hopes to eventually work as a nurse in operating theatres.

“TAFE NSW has been amazing and has offered me a real career pathway,” Ms Tolentino said.

“Through my work placements during the course, I’ve been able to learn the practical skills of the job to go with the theory and I want to be a nurse in an operating theatre when I graduate.

“Nurses are so important and I think COVID made people realise that even more.”

TAFE NSW Nursing Lead Dr Zach Byfield said TAFE NSW worked closely with health providers and organisations such as APRA to help ensure TAFE NSW was keeping pace with workforce needs.

“We meet regularly with all our industry partners to come up with new and innovative ways to keep learners in communities and create a constant pipeline of new nurses,” Dr Byfield said.

“Nurses are an indispensable part of the healthcare system, as was again highlighted during the pandemic.

“TAFE NSW is committed to continue training the nursing workforce of the future.”

TAFE NSW [insert campus] offers a Diploma of Nursing and [insert other relevant nursing quals the campus offers] and enrolments are now open for semester two.

Media contact: Dan Johns, TAFE NSW Communications Specialist,, 0477 722 428