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Nurse, midwife and pharmacist numbers grow

AHPRA,nurse,midwife,allied health,pharmacist
Photo: AHPRA,nurse,midwife,allied health,pharmacist
Australia has more registered nurses, midwives, pharmacists and other allied health professionals, according to new registration data.

The Nursing and Midwifery Board’s December 2014 data, published this month, reveals there are 5640 new nurses and midwives with general registration compared to the September 2014 quarter, taking the total to 59,616, and increasing the overall number of registered nurses and midwives to 361,711.

The data shows a rise in numbers across the nursing and midwifery profession, with the number of enrolled nurses reaching 59,954, up 338, and the number of registered nurses rising to 259,494, up 4226.
The number of enrolled nurses and registered nurses stands at 4724, up 742, the number of enrolled nurses, registered nurses and midwives is at 29,620, up 155, and the number of midwives now reaches 3336, up 160.

There has also been an increase in the number of registered nurses and midwives with endorsements, with 37 extra nurse practitioners, taking the total to 1165, 28 additional registered nurses able to supply scheduled medicines in rural and isolated practice, taking the tally to 928, 29 extra eligible midwives able to supply scheduled medicines, increasing the number to 157, and there’s one new, sole midwife practitioner.

The data shows Australia is now also home to an extra 480 pharmacists.

Statistics from the Pharmacy Board show the number of registered pharmacists grew from 27,438 to 27,836 in the last three months of 2014, with most of the new pharmacists in the under 25 age group, increasing by 377 to 2342.

Other allied health professions to record an increase include psychology - rising 114 to 31,982, physiotherapy - growing 1013 to 27,278, occupational therapy - increasing 694 to 17,024, medical radiation practice - growing 531 to 15,005, optometry - up 100 to 4902, podiatry - increasing 203 to 4347, osteopathy - up 103 to 1983, and the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health practitioners - up 20 to 376.

The core role of the National Boards and the Australian Health Practitioner and Regulation Agency (AHPRA) is to protect the public and manage risk to patients.

AHPRA CEO Martin Fletcher said one of the great benefits of the national scheme is the ability to apply data to help the Australian community.

“This includes valuable data about the number and type of health practitioners registered in Australia, and where they are based,” he said.

“This information is invaluable for workforce and health service planning.”

The published data is split into separate reports for each National Board and includes information about the types of registration held, principal place of practice, endorsements, registrant age and gender.

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Karen Keast

Karen Keast is a freelance health journalist who writes news and feature articles for HealthTimes.

Karen regularly writes for some of Australia’s leading health news websites and magazines.  In a media career spanning 20 years, Karen has worked as a senior journalist in newspapers and television. She has covered the grind of daily news and worked as a politics reporter at countless state and federal elections.

Since venturing into freelance writing five years ago, Karen has found her niche in writing about the health sector for editors, businesses and corporations.

Karen has interviewed the heads of peak health organisations in Australia and overseas, and written hundreds of news and feature articles covering the dedicated work of health professionals who tread the corridors of hospitals and health services, universities, aged care facilities and practices, day in and day out.

Follow Karen Keast on Twitter @stylemywords