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Free nurse training in 2024 to boost health frontline

Nurse training at Mater Education will be free next year for school-leavers and career-changers across Queensland thanks to a major funding boost from the State Government.

Minister for Training and Skills Di Farmer MP announced today that Mater Education’s Diploma of Nursing courses in BrisbaneTownsville and Springfield will be included in the State Government’s 2024 Fee-Free TAFE initiative.

The news means students enrolling for Mater Education’s January 2024 intakes will qualify as Enrolled Nurses in just 18 months – and with zero student debt.

Mater Education saw a 330% surge in applications for the Diploma of Nursing when its October intake was included in the Fee-Free TAFE initiative earlier this year.

Mater Group Chief Operating Officer Angi Bissell said educators are expecting another flood of applications following today’s announcement.

“This is fantastic news for students, hospitals and patients,” Ms Bissell said.

“Queensland urgently needs to expand its nursing workforce and we’ve seen that fee-free training is a huge incentive to those thinking about a career in healthcare.

“We’ve seen a big increase in school-leavers applying for our Diploma of Nursing course, as well as Queenslanders who want to switch careers or get back into the workforce after having children.

“We also encourage people to apply who have been part of the unpaid care workforce with home-based care responsibilities, who want to use that experience to jump start a new career.

“If you’re thinking about becoming a nurse, get in touch now – there has never been a better time to start a career in health.”

Mater is Queensland’s largest not-for-profit healthcare provider and manages 11 private and public hospitals across the state. It has been training nurses and other health professionals since 1906.

Mater Education Diploma of Nursing Lead Educator Tara Walton said Mater provided its students with a unique training experience. 

“Mater Education is the largest non-government nurse training organisation in Queensland and our connection to Mater hospitals is highly valuable for our students,” Ms Walton said. 

“We connect the hospital and classroom environments to ensure our students learn through immersive, real-world experience. 

“Our accelerated 18-month Diploma of Nursing qualification allows students to learn and earn quickly.” 

Applicants for the Fee-Free TAFE initiative must live in Queensland and be Australian citizens or permanent residents to be eligible for a fee-free Diploma of Nursing.  

To find out more, contact Mater Education Student Services at 1300 070 350 or go to

Pictured: Mater Education Springfield students Laura Clune, Georgia Fuller and Anthea Salisbury.

This program is proudly supported and funded by the Queensland Government | Conditions apply | RTO 5210 | HLT54121 

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