Aged Care Nurses’ Payment to Reward Clinical Skills & Leadership

It’s no secret that people who work in and love our Aged Care Industry are very special people. But of late there has been so much change and increased pressure causing people to consider where their next career move may be. Now Providers don’t just have to worry about retention of Clinical Team Members in their organisation but there’s a much bigger issue of retention in the sector to address. The solutions to these issues don’t wholly lay in the control of employers.

There have been a number of recent research papers and reports as well media attention as to the reasons people are moving to other sectors:

  • The challenges of change and the additional workload that brings – New Accreditation Standards, The Royal Commission, Aged Care Reform, COVID-19, a new funding tool.
  • Mandatory vaccinations
  • Lower wages than other sectors
 

One way the Government is assisting Providers in retention, stability and growth of leaders is the “Aged Care Nurses’ Payment to reward clinical skills and leadership”  which seems to be a much broader incentive than the previous Aged Care Workforce Retention Bonus, which was just an incentive for those providing direct care.

The first round of applications will open from 1 November 2022 so make sure pop this in diary and don’t miss out on a chance to reward clinical skills and leadership in your organisation!

The site says:

WHO IS ELIGIBLE?

Registered nurses must be employed for 12 months by any of the following:

  • an approved aged care provider funded by the Australian Government
  • Multipurpose Service Providers that offer aged care services
  • State or local government approved Residential Aged Care or Home Care Providers
  • providers that offer aged care services under the Commonwealth National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Flexible Aged Care Program
  • an agency employing aged care registered nurses to work in one of the above organisation types.
 

The payment is available to registered nurses working in residential aged care, home care and Commonwealth Home Support Programme settings.

Registered nurses must have been working for the same approved aged care provider over the following time periods to receive each payment:

  • 1 November 2021 – 31 October 2022
  • 1 November 2022 – 31 October 2023.
 

Registered nurses will still be eligible even if they do not work in a direct care role such as management, provided they are registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia.

Other direct care workers including personal care workers, enrolled nurses and allied health professionals are not eligible for the payment.

An additional payment is also available to Registered Nurses who also meet the below criteria. The site says:

ADDITIONAL PAYMENT ELIGIBILITY

Registered nurses will also be eligible for one additional payment per year of up to $2,300.

To receive this additional payment, registered nurses must meet one of these criteria:

  • work in a rural or remote area (classified MMM5-7)
  • hold a relevant formal postgraduate qualification (Graduate Certificate or higher)
  • take on additional leadership or training responsibilities in their workplace.

Registered nurses will only receive an additional payment for meeting one of these 3 criteria.

Part-time or casual nurses who meet one of these criteria will receive a pro-rata payment.

 

HOW TO APPLY

This payment will be delivered via a non-competitive grant process.

After the closing date for each eligibility period, approved aged care providers will apply for the payment on behalf of eligible staff. The approved provider will then provide the payments to their eligible nurses as part of their salary.

Approved aged care providers may be familiar with this process, through the Aged Care Workforce Retention Bonus Payment.

 

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