While the medical sector has long received special benefits when it comes to banking and finance, Victoria has just made becoming a nurse even more appealing.
In Australia, there are close to 90,000 registered nurses working in a wide variety of primary health care settings. While this figure might seem more than adequate, the reality is that the Department of Health predicts an 85,000 nurse shortage by 2025, before rising to 123,000 nurses by 2030.
What’s worse is that this research giving a detailed assessment of Australia’s future health workforce was issued in 2014 – five years before the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, these figures don’t account for the number of nurses leaving the profession or taking a much needed break after what can only be described as the most demanding period our nation’s healthcare professionals have ever faced.
As such, both state and federal governments have been thinking outside of the box for ways to attract more people to the profession of nursing. Despite a range of pathways such as skilled migrant visas and incentives for retired nurses to return to work part time, the Victorian Government recently announced a radical new plan to get more people into the profession.
Victoria Unveils Free University For Nursing Students
In a $270 million boost to the state’s struggling healthcare system, more than 17,000 nurses and midwives will be recruited and trained as part of a massive hiring and upskilling initiative – building an army of home-grown health workers to care for Victorians.
Although it’s worth noting that Premier Dan Andrews has a state election to win at the end of November, Victoria’s hospital system has been under an enormous strain in the wake of the pandemic, and Andrews is thinking big when it comes to finding a solution.
More than 10,000 students will have the cost of their nursing or midwifery undergraduate studies paid for, while scholarships will be available for thousands more who complete postgraduate studies in areas of need including intensive care, cancer care, paediatrics and nurse practitioner specialties.
The biggest win in Labor’s new policy is arguably the fact that all new domestic students enrolling in a professional-entry nursing or midwifery course in 2023 and 2024 will receive a scholarship of up to $16,500 to cover their study costs, effectively meaning that an entire generation of nurses will avoid taking on the financial burden of a HECS debt.
Students will receive $9,000 while they study, and the remaining $7,500 if they can commit to working in Victorian public health services for a minimum of two years. In addition, more midwives will be encouraged to join the workforce through an expanded postgraduate midwifery incentive program, which will provide scholarships to cover course costs and salary support for one hundred and fifty existing nurses to continue working, while they complete their specialist studies in midwifery.
The initiative, together with the $12 billion Pandemic Repair Plan, brings the number of nurses and midwives being supported to more than 20,000, including funding 13,000 nursing and midwifery positions and scholarships, and funding the upskilling of 8,500 nurses.
Aside from being able to study for free, Victorian school leavers and career changers should also keep in mind that the potential benefits of becoming a nurse go beyond the rewarding nature of the work.
While nurses don’t automatically get access to special doctor home loan discounts that many lending institutes offer for home loans, personal loans and car loans, this profession is still favourably viewed by the banks because of its perceived stability and employment options.
As such, working as a nurse also has the potential to unlock waived Lenders Mortgage Insurance fees, lower interest rates and higher borrowing capacities when using overtime as a part of income assessments. However, these benefits can be tricky to source and navigate on your own, which is why partnering with an experienced mortgage broker who specialises in these fields is a must – but where do you find one?
Your Guide For Navigating The World Of Home Loans
With a background in banking, finance, business development and project management, there’s no better advocate to have on your team than Nikki Berzin. As a fully qualified mortgage broker and director of Cherry Lending & Finance, Nikki is passionate about all things finance, and empowering her clients with the tools to hit their property goals is what she does best.
If you’re looking to get into your first home, purchase an investment property or even want to look at your options for refinancing, the first step is starting the conversation. Get in touch with Nikki today, or call her directly on 0427 374 155 to bring your mortgage dreams to life.
Disclaimer: We recommend that you seek independent financial and taxation advice before acting on any information in this newsletter. It contains general information only and has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. We recommend that you consider whether it is appropriate for your circumstances. Your full financial situation will need to be reviewed prior to acceptance of any offer or product. Interest rates are subject to change without notice. Lenders terms, conditions, fees & charges apply.
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