Head to the NSW west, nurses, and pocket an extra $800 a week

Head west nurses, and pocket an extra $800 a week

One regional health district has taken to social media in a bid to attract nurses - of almost any variety - to its hospitals.

The local health district in Western NSW wants registered, enrolled and undergraduate nurses to "fill shifts" across the region.

The Facebook said nurses could stand to earn an "additional $823 a week". That is more than an additional 50% on top of a fourth year registered nurse's wage.

The Western NSW Local Health District covers around 250,000 square kilometres and, according to the NSW Health website, is linked to 40 hospitals. It deals with a population of more than 270,000, authorities say.

The health district wants to bolster its workforce as people - including its staff - continue to contract and be impacted by COVID-19, including its own staff.

A spokesperson said the health district wanted to "augment our existing workforce" in anticipation of more staff becoming furloughed.

Already, 140 staff across the district, are on leave, with nursing ranks under the most pressure.

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Smaller communities, particularly those in more remote areas, the spokesperson said, are more vulnerable simply because of the size of the workforce.

"Recruitment and retention of healthcare workers in rural locations is an ongoing challenge," the spokesperson said.

"This current call is designed to augment our existing workforce so we're prepared for staff becoming unavailable as a result of being 'furloughed'.

"Staff may be required to be furloughed because they are in isolation themselves. Others may be unable to attend work because they need to care for others in their household who are in isolation, or to care for children affected by disruption to childcare arrangements.

"We are interested in hearing from nursing staff who have current registration, who may be willing to be part of our COVID-19 response."

It is anticipated that the number of furloughed staff will fluctuate as the COVID situation continues to evolve thanks to the highly-transmissible Omicron variant.

"It's reasonable to assume that staffing numbers will be further affected as this phase of the pandemic unfolds," the WNSWLHD spokesperson said.

Nursing staff with current registration who might be willing to be part of the health district's COVID-19 response are encouraged to get in touch with the health district.

This story Head west nurses, and pocket an extra $800 a week first appeared on Western Advocate.