Nov 10, 2023

Aged care worker upskills to fill RN shortages

Ahmed was recently nominated for the ACCPA You Are ACE! campaign recognition by Banksia Lodge residents. [Source: Supplied]

Watching his grandmother’s rapid deterioration with Alzheimer’s disease has motivated a former retail worker to become an aged care nurse at a time when the need couldn’t be greater. 

Enrolled Nurse Ahmed Loze, from Moruya on the New South Wales south coast, is just 12 months away from being able to fill one of the crucial Registered Nurse (RN) vacancies, after leaving an unsatisfying career in retail six years ago.  

He currently works at Banksia Lodge residential aged care home at Broulee in the Eurobodalla region. 

“I remember, before nursing, my grandmother’s condition changed quite dramatically, and it was just very overwhelming, and I didn’t know what to do,” Ahmed said. 

“Banksia (Lodge) encouraged me to give it a crack, to have a go. That I could bring more to the table, and it was very hard because I am not academically inclined at all, but I can make a connection with  people which is what I really enjoy about the work.”

As part of his online studies with Charles Sturt University, Ahmed has had to complete several placements at hospitals in New South Wales including Dubbo, Bathurst and Liverpool. 

He said, “I thought I would be in retail forever, but I definitely would recommend it (a career in aged care nursing) – it’s worth it. The pathway is amazing. Banksia has really been good to me. They sat me down and showed me a pathway right through to RN and afterwards.,” Ahmed said. 

Ahmed was recently nominated for the ACCPA You Are ACE! campaign recognition by Banksia Lodge residents.

left to right - Sylvia, Ahmed, Alice - October 23 (1)
Ahmed with Banksia Lodge residents Sylvia Spiller, 83, on his right and Alice Vickery, 90. [Source: Supplied]

Staff Shortage Woes

Aged care in Australia faces a shortage of more than 11,000 nurses right now, with demand set to spiral in coming years with a rapidly ageing population. The Committee for Economic Development in Australia – has predicted that by 2030 there will be a shortage of at least 110,000 direct care workers. 

Aged and Community Care Providers Association (ACCPA) is working on ways to attract more nurses to the sector. 

“We need to show registered nurses how rewarding a career in aged care can be, caring for our most cherished Australians, and Ahmed is just one example. He’s worked right through the system and soon will be an RN,” said ACCPA Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Tom Symondson. 

ACCPA runs a Nursing Transition to Practice Program in aged care for all RNs and graduates. 

“We need to do everything we can to attract more RNs to care for older Australians. Providers are working hard to fill a massive shortage of RNs and to upskill staff where they can,” said Mr Symondson.

“We’re advocating for better access to education, improved access to housing, particularly in rural  areas, easier migration routes for overseas nurses, and direct funding of targeted workforce programs.”

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