Boost to intensive care nurse workforce

Published: 13 May 2020

Released by: The Premier

More than 1500 nurses have undertaken Intensive Care Unit (ICU) refresher training as part of a $3 million investment by the NSW Government to boost ICU staff to combat COVID-19.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the registered nurses have been upskilled in intensive care nursing and are ready to work in ICUs across the state.

“ICU nurses are key members of our critical care teams and we now have 1500 more who can join our workforce during the pandemic,” Ms Berejiklian said.

“This $3 million initiative has significantly boosted the pool of ICU nurses we can call upon if we see an increase in COVID-19 patients as we head into winter.” 

The 1500-plus cohort undertook the training alongside active ICU nurses at the bedside to refresh their knowledge and practical skills in critical care nursing. 

Minister for Health Brad Hazzard said ICU nurses continue to play a vital role in delivering world-class critical care during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“ICU nurses deliver an extraordinary standard of care all year round to regional and metropolitan communities across NSW, and we need them now more than ever in our fight against COVID-19,” Mr Hazzard said.

“The NSW Government has already doubled our ICU capacity to prepare for COVID-19 cases and we’re working towards quadrupling it. Boosting our clinical workforce in these ICUs is also a critical step in our preparation.

“Thanks to the NSW Government’s strategic response to the pandemic we’ve seen a recent decline in cases, but we have to be ready for any escalation of the virus, particularly as we head into winter.”

The NSW Government is delivering $800 million in extra funding for NSW Health to boost ICU capacity and purchase additional services and medical equipment.

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