New mentorship program for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander rural nurses and midwives
Three Rivers Department of Rural Health is committed to collaboration and innovation to create a sustainable rural health workforce. Funded by the Commonwealth Government through the Department of Health's Rural Health Multidisciplinary Training (RHMT) Program, Three Rivers DRH is focused on the recruitment and retention of rural, dental, nursing and allied health clinicians.
As part of this work, Three Rivers DRH has partnered with the Murrumbidgee Local Health District (MLHD), the Ngungilanna Indigenous Student Centre, School of Nursing, Midwifery and Indigenous Health CSU and CATSINaM to support the provision of a mentorship program for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander nurses and midwives.
The purpose of the mentor relationship is to provide clinical and cultural supportive care to nurses and midwives as they transition from university to the workforce. Increasing the support provided to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander nurses aims to strengthen and improve recruitment and retention, and thus increases representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander nurses and midwives to the workforce. Three Rivers DRH has been able to provide practical, collegial and financial support to this initiative and support the implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the program as a member of the collaborative.
Supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders through the first 12 months of their nursing career will assist us to create workplaces that are culturally safe and improve the experiences of both patients and clinicians. A highly skilled workforce has subsequent benefits for undergraduate students as they are exposed to supportive workplaces while undertaking clinical placements.
The work of Three Rivers DRH and our key stakeholders, including our elders and wider Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, within this space and beyond, will help ensure that our future Indigenous rural health professionals will have gained high-level clinical knowledge and leadership skills contributing towards the improvement of closing the gap.
The first mentorship training session will be held on the 13th and 14th of February 09.30am – 5.00pm at the University of Notre Dame Rural Clinical School, 40 Hardy Avenue, Wagga Wagga NSW 2650. Media has been invited to attend at 11.30am on Wednesday the 13th.