What it does: Provides aged care
Staff stats: Bupa has over 20,000 staff in Australia and New Zealand, around 84,000 worldwide
The good bits: Friendly co-workers
The not so good bits: Can be bureaucratic
The Bupa story
Bupa (British United Provident Association) was formed in 1947. It came into being when 17 provident associations (imagine an organisation halfway between a building society and health fund) joined forces. To this day, Bupa remains a private company with no shareholders meaning all profits are reinvested in the business. Possibly thanks to its unusual structure, BUPA has grown from a small UK-based business to a globe-spanning healthcare group over the last six decades. It’s also expanded the scope of its operations, moving into travel, health and expatriate insurance, as well as running aged-care facilities, hospitals and occupational health services. It now has a presence in 190 countries and serves 32 million customers.
In 2008 Bupa’s local division merged with the Australian health insurer MBF. This created the country’s largest private health insurance group, covering around 4 million policyholders. Bupa operates as two distinct entities down under: the higher-profile Bupa Australia and Bupa Aged Care Australia. The latter is an innovative industry leader and operates over 70 care homes throughout Adelaide, Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne. In 2016, Bupa’s Australia and New Zealand division had revenues of £4360.6 million (A$7306 million).
Bupa embraces diversity, which it defines as “knowledge and understanding of relevant diverse geographies, peoples and their backgrounds including race, disability, gender, sexual orientation, religion, belief and age, as well as culture, personality and work-style”. In Australia, Bupa has a Reconciliation Action Plan that seeks to develop “greater awareness of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures within our business and deepen our connections with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and organisations” as well as closing the gap in health outcomes for Indigenous Australians.
Bupa exists to make a profit but it aspires to make that profit through playing “a pivotal role in ensuring that we help people live longer, healthier lives”. Since 2005, the Bupa Health Foundation has donated almost $26 million to its “five focus areas”. These are wellbeing, healthy ageing, affordable healthcare, empowering people about their health and chronic disease. The Bupa Health Foundation has partnered with a range of Australian universities and foundations, as well as the CSIRO, to fund projects that promise to “improve the health of the Australian community”.
Bupa partners with Good2Give to provide employees with an efficient, tax-effective, workplace-giving program. Employees are also able to spend two days a year volunteering with a charity or community organisation of their choice.
The recruitment process
Bupa Aged Care Australia introduced its Graduate Nurse Leadership Program in 2010 to encourage more nursing graduates to consider a career in aged care. The program allows grads to “kick start your nursing career in a dynamic and progressive organisation, and make a positive difference to the lives of our residents and their families”.
The selection criteria are straightforward. You need to have obtained your Bachelor of Nursing within the past two years. You’ll also need to demonstrate some interest in working in aged care and be eligible to register with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA). However, you don’t need to have done aged-care electives while studying. Likewise, while experience working in the aged-care industry is useful it’s not required.
The recruitment process starts with an online application. There’s not a lot of publicly available information about what happens next. You should expect to sit for some interviews, initially via phone or video-conferencing and ultimately face to face.
If you are offered a spot, you’ll take part in a structured 12-month program. This will develop your clinical and leadership skills. A Clinical Placement Supervisor, who is also a Registered Nurse, will guide and support you as you strive to reach your development goals. You’ll also attend four sets of structured professional development days at Bupa’s Sydney headquarters.
Bupa pays well but we all know you’re not going to become a millionaire working as nurse. (Registered Nurses in Australia earn an average salary of $61,000.) However, if you aspire to a six-figure salary, you will have plenty of support to advance your career and move into a more lucrative managerial role. Given Bupa’s other commercial activities, you’ll also have access to subsidised car, health, home, life and travel insurance.
Once you’ve finished the program, Bupa offers well-defined career paths as well as support and training to “become the best Registered Nurse you can be”. Given populations are ageing both in Australia and throughout the developed world, you’re pretty much guaranteed a job for life and, most likely, rapid promotion. Bupa is a heavy hitter in the aged-care industry both locally and internationally. That means there should be plenty of clinical and non-clinical positions you can apply for both close to home and around the world.
The vibe of the place
Bupa offers a “happy work environment” and “positive work culture”. A great place for nursing grads to start their career
From the Employer:
"Bupa is extraordinary. We are a world leading health & care group with over 20,000 people in Australia and New Zealand and our purpose is to help people live longer, healthier and happier lives. We're making a difference in health & care through our leading health services including modern Dental clinics, Bupa Optical stores, Bupa GP clinics and our first Bupa Therapy centre, as well as personalised care at over 70 Bupa Aged Care Homes and market leading health insurance. At Bupa our people are transforming and making a difference in the world of health & care.
At Bupa Aged Care we put the person first in everything we do. Knowing each resident and their families as individuals is fundamental to our approach to care. Our ‘Person-First’ approach means we tailor our care to suit our residents’ needs and preferences. This approach is provided to everyone in our homes, and is especially important for those living with dementia.
About the Graduate Nurse Leadership Program:
In 2010, Bupa introduced the Graduate Nurse Leadership Program and our vision remains the same…
To change the perception of Aged Care by encouraging professional Registered Nurses starting their careers to view Aged Care as the incredibly rewarding career choice that it is!
Aged Care is one of the fastest growing and rapidly developing industries in Australia. As a leader in health and care, Bupa recognises the importance of investing in the future of the industry and developing first class clinicians and leaders who specialise in caring for older people in a residential environment.
Quick facts about Bupa’s Graduate Nurse Leadership Program:
- We received a Better Practice Award in 2012 for Staff Development
- To date over 250 Graduate Nurses have joined the Program
- 4 former Graduate Nurses have now been appointed as General Manager of a Bupa care home
- Many of our Graduate Nurses have progressed to Clinical and Care Manager roles
The Graduate Nurse Leadership Program will give you the opportunity to kick start your nursing career in a dynamic and progressive organisation, and make a positive difference to the lives of our residents and their families."