Choosing a nursing career: Building an indigenous nursing workforce

Linda Deravin, Karen Francis, Judith Anderson


Introduction: This paper provides an overview of the impact of government policy in supporting the growth of an Indigenous nursing workforce in New South Wales and Australia.
Methods: Publically available nursing workforce performance reports along with current literature were reviewed to provide a perspective on the current situation.
Results and discussion: The National partnership agreement on closing the gap in Indigenous health outcomes indicated that to improve Indigenous health outcomes, significant investment is required with particular reference to increasing an Indigenous workforce. As nurses comprise the majority of the health workforce a number of strategies and initiatives have been put in place to support this agreement. Even though there has been commitment through government policy and funding initiatives it is questionable if this is having any real impact on growing an Indigenous nursing workforce.
Conclusions: Recruitment strategies that will increase the number of Indigenous nurses within the health workforce requires a multilevel approach. Despite efforts to increase Indigenous nursing workforce numbers, there has been limited impact to any real successful gains since 2008. Building and growing an Indigenous nursing workforce that will support the “Closing the Gap” initiative will require significant continuing effort.

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Journal of Hospital Administration

ISSN 1927-6990(Print)   ISSN 1927-7008(Online)

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