As the winter chill hits Canberra, issues around nurse practitioners and aged care are high on the agenda at a political level.
Our messages to government about the role of nurse practitioners in aged care appear to have been recognised in the release of the 2010 federal budget last month. It’s pleasing to see that the Rudd government will be investing just over $18m into projects that will explore models of practice that in turn, will promote access to nurse practitioner services in aged care.
RCNA has been lobbying extensively for national funding options to be expanded to support the role of nurse practitioners to manage the health care needs of aged care populations. This budget measure is definitely a step in the right direction for aged care services across Australia and the nursing profession.
It is disappointing though that the federal government has remained focussed on general practice for the delivery of primary health care rather than the broader context. While RCNA welcomed the incentives to increase the number of practice nurses, we still maintain that fundamental reform requires strategic investment in the diverse and complex services nurses can provide outside of general practice.
RCNA will continue to pursue its reform agenda which is about investing in community and primary health care nursing and midwifery but not limiting the provision of this funding through general practice only. This model of service provision does not support the full reach, accessibility and flexibility of nursing and midwifery services.
Thank you to all the nurses across Australia who celebrated International Nurses Day. I’d also like to thank Mark Smith FRCNA, Chair of the Community and Primary Health Care Faculty Advisory Committee who spoke to a number of media outlets about IND. These interviews were a valuable contribution to spreading our messages to the community about the nursing profession.
Don’t forget, national registration is coming up. There are steps in place to help nurses and midwives with this transition to national registration which is taking place in July. By now you should have received a letter from the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia about national registration which details the transition processes for nurses and midwives. If you have not received your letter yet, please contact the Board as soon as possible. Further information is available for members at www.rcna.org.au.
In the next edition of Nursing Review, we’ll be reporting the outcomes of our Nursing Summit Minds converging to inspire, progress and promote the profession of nursing. Don’t forget to register for the International Nurse Practitioner/Advanced Practice Nursing Network Conference coming up in September – another key event for our nursing profession.Do you have an idea for a story?
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