Hon Roger Cook BA GradDipBus MBA MLA

Hon Roger Cook BA GradDipBus MBA MLA

Deputy Premier; Minister for Health; Medical Research; State Development, Jobs and Trade; Science

    170 graduate nurses employed in COVID-response roles

    1/09/2021 8:00 AM
    • The McGowan Government will employ an additional 170 graduate nurses in COVID-19 roles such as in vaccination clinics and in the contact tracing team
    • This is on top of the 1,100 newly qualified nurses who will join the WA health system this year and 1,200 next year
    • Nearly 600 graduate nurses have been given first offers to work in WA hospitals for next year
    • The McGowan Government has committed $71.6 million to employ more doctors, nurses and midwives across the WA health system 

    An additional 170 graduate nurses will be employed in public health to help the State Government's COVID-19 response.


    The job opportunities in the COVID-19 response team will include 130 graduate nurses to be employed in State-run vaccination clinics.


    A further 40 graduate nurses will be employed in the contact tracing team which recently has been heavily focused on assisting the New South Wales outbreak response. The WA team has traced 1,600 close and casual contacts in NSW in recent weeks.


    In addition, almost 600 nurse graduates have been contacted overnight and given their first offers to work in WA hospitals through the GradConnect program which runs until November, with further rounds of offers being made over the next two months.


    In total the McGowan Government has committed to 1,100 graduate nurse appointments this year and a further 1,200 in 2022. The extra COVID-response positions mean 1,270 graduates will be employed by WA Health this year. In comparison, 763 graduate nurses were recruited last year.


    GradConnect has two annual intakes for the public health system, with the next intake in March next year.


    The McGowan Government has announced $71.6 million of funding for a multi-pronged health workforce attraction and retention strategy to employ more doctors, nurses and midwives, as part of the $1.9 billion health and mental health initiatives in the 2021-22 State Budget.


    The State Government is also recruiting experienced midwives and nurses including emergency department, ICU and perioperative nursing staff.


    Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, a record 2,148 health care workers were employed up to the March quarter 2021, with more than 750 FTE of nurses and midwives employed in WA Health between January and June this year.


    Comments attributed to Health Minister Roger Cook:


    "We are doing everything possible to employ more staff to support our hard-working nurses and midwives.


    "The fact we can now offer positions to 170 graduates in COVID-response roles is terrific for both our vaccination clinics and the contact tracing team.


    "We have significantly increased the number of graduates being offered positions.


    "With today's announcement we are employing 75 per cent more graduate nurses this year, which will be a huge boost to our health workforce and our COVID-19 response.


    "We need to have a mix of skills including experienced and graduate nurses as well as nurses in specialist areas.


    "The State Government is embarking on a recruitment and training program to get more nurses and midwives into our health services in our areas of need, which include ICU and perioperative nursing staff."


    Minister's office - 6552 6500