Indonesian nurses heading for Territory hospitals 


The first group of Indonesian nurses to complete a bridging program at Charles Darwin University that allows them to work in Australia will receive their certificates tonight (0ctober 10).

The 19 nurses are expected to stay on in the Territory, helping to ease the critical shortage of nurses, where there is a 30 per cent turnover each year.

The nurses have spent the past six months in intensive language and clinical nursing training with CDU’s Graduate School for Health Practice, a partnership with the NT Government’s Department of Health and Community Services.

CDU vice-chancellor Helen Garnett said Indonesia had more nurses than positions for them, while Australia had more places available than nurses to fill them.

She said the bridging program was a potential source of highly-skilled, well-prepared health professions.

The nurses have already received their degree at the University of Indonesia, with the bridging course allowing them to complete their training for registration in Australia.

Their training was made possible by the Northern Territory Government meeting the $295,000 cost as a gift to the Indonesian Government to mark the 60th anniversary of the country’s independence.

The nurses will be sponsored by the NT Government to remain in Australia for up to four years under the 457 visa scheme aimed to ease the nationwide skills shortage.

CDU currently has many links with Indonesia, including the Higher Education Capacity Building project in Eastern Indonesia and the Coastal Restoration project following the Boxing Day tsunami.

Next year the Graduate School for Health Practice will be providing a Master of Nursing program at Solo in central Java.