Patient safety and quality of care is at the heart of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed by healthcare educator, Health Careers International (HCI) and English testing organisation, the Occupational English Test (OET) to ensure nurses migrating to Australia to train, register and work are proficient in English.
Health Careers’ vocational education division, the Institute of Health and Nursing Australia (IHNA), has provided training to more than seven thousand overseas nurses who have gained registration in Australia and helped to address a very significant skills shortage in the Australian healthcare system.
It has been predicted that by 2025 the nursing workforce gap will have opened to between 80,000 and 147,000 nurses. As the Australian healthcare system rushes to fill this gap with foreign trained nurses, a significant factor affecting patient safety and quality of care continues to be errors caused by language skills and miscommunication.
Together, the work of HCI in preparing overseas nurses for service and OET, benefits the Australian economy by helping to fill the nursing workforce gap with nurses who are proficient in English.
The MOU was signed by both parties on 11 May 2016, and sets out five key areas for collaboration, including the development of courses and embedded English language content to help students acquire healthcare-specific English language proficiency.
HCI founder and CEO, Bijo Kunnumpurath says: “HCI is committed to providing the highest standard of health education in Australia and OET is committed to ensuring healthcare professionals have work-ready language skills to provide safe and quality care.”
“We are delighted to sign this MOU and integrate OET preparation throughout our courses so that our graduates can provide the best quality care to patients,” he concludes.
Ma-annjit Singh qualified as a nurse in the Philippines and migrated to Australia on a student visa with the aim gaining registration as a nurse. She says that taking the OET test before starting HCI’s Initial Registration for Overseas Nurses course made it much easier.
“I’m working as an agency nurse until I get permanent residency and I’m very confident that the way I’m communicating is correct. OET gave us scenarios that we really do use and it made the transition to working in Australia much easier.”
CBLA CEO, Sujata Stead says: “Signing this memorandum of understanding demonstrates our commitment to working with organisations who share the common vision of supporting healthcare professionals to successfully contribute within the Australian healthcare system.”
OET Media enquiries: Janeen Gardiner + 61 3 8656 4016
HCI Media enquiries: David Webb +61 3 9455 4437