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Imre Salusinszky, NSW political reporter | April 08, 2009
Article from: The Australian

JUNIOR nurses in NSW will pay for their own training under changes to be announced by Health Minister John Della Bosca, with unions and the Opposition warning that the move could worsen the state’s nurse shortage.

Enrolled nurses will pay up to $1000 a year for TAFE training, but much more in private college fees if they do not secure one of 600 places available.

There will 200 free TAFE places.

At present, about 1300 junior nurses graduate each year. They work in hospitals while they train and are paid more than $34,000 by NSW Health.

Aspiring trainee nurses have been in limbo since the Government announced last year the scheme would be scrapped.

Mr Della Bosca told The Australian the changes would bring NSW into line with the other states and guarantee nurses were ready to look after patients.

Opposition health spokeswoman Jillian Skinner said the new scheme would not align NSW with other states, as there were no student loans on offer.

Annie Butler from the NSW Nurses Association said the new scheme would not maintain a skilled workforce.,25197,25306209-5013404,00.html

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