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Nursing workforce in very remote Australia, characteristics and key issues

Lenthall, Sue, Wakerman, John, Opie, Tess, Dunn, Sandra, McLeod, Martha, Dollard, Maureen, Rickard, Greg and Knight, Sabrina (2011). Nursing workforce in very remote Australia, characteristics and key issues. Australian Journal of Rural Health,(19):32-37.

Document type: Journal Article

ISI LOC 000286601200008
IRMA ID 81704288xPUB320
Title Nursing workforce in very remote Australia, characteristics and key issues
Author Lenthall, Sue
Wakerman, John
Opie, Tess
Dunn, Sandra
McLeod, Martha
Dollard, Maureen
Rickard, Greg
Knight, Sabrina
Journal Name Australian Journal of Rural Health
Publication Date 2011
Issue Number 19
ISSN 1038-5282   (check CDU catalogue open catalogue search in new window)
Scopus ID 2-s2.0-79251516444
Start Page 32
End Page 37
Total Pages 6
Place of Publication Sydney
HERDC Category C1 - Journal Article (DIISR)
Abstract Objective:
To describe the nursing workforce in very remote Australia, characteristics and key issues.

Data were collected from four main sources: the refined CRANAplus database of remote health facilities; the 2006 census which provided population and percentage of Indigenous people in communities in very remote Australia; a national survey on occupational stress among nurses and an earlier study into violence and remote area nurses conducted in 1995. A descriptive analysis of the data was conducted.

Health facilities in very remote Australia.

The registered nursing workforce in very remote Australia is mostly female (89%) and ageing, with 40.2% 50 years or over, compared to 33% nationally. Many (43%) are in remote Indigenous communities. Over the last decade, there has been a significant decrease in registered nurses with midwifery qualifications (55%) and in child health nurses (39%) in very remote Australia. Only 5% have postgraduate qualifications in remote health practice.

The nursing workforce in very remote areas of Australia is in trouble. The workforce is ageing, the numbers of nurses per population has fallen and the numbers of midwives and child health nurses have dropped significantly over the last 15 years. As many of these nurses work in Indigenous communities, if these trends continue it is likely to have a negative effect on ‘closing the gap’ in Indigenous health outcomes.
Keywords Indigenous community
nursing workforce
remote area nurse
remote health
remote workforce
very remote Australia
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Created: Fri, 17 Jan 2014, 00:44:01 CST