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Talking leadership and practical advice

ACN forum to discuss keeping ahead of the challenges.

The Australian College of Nursing will soon hold its second National Nursing Forum, with a focus on Staying Ahead of the Game.

In line with ACN’s new strategic direction of advancing nursing leadership, the theme of this year’s event focuses on how nurses and the profession can thrive within an increasingly challenging healthcare landscape.

ACN president Carmen Morgan says advancing nurse leadership – from a ward setting to a board setting – will ensure the expertise of nurses is heard across all levels of healthcare.

“The benefits of a well-qualified nursing workforce and high-quality, visible nursing leadership are hard to [overstate] and, ultimately, will lead to better patient outcomes,” Morgan says. “With healthcare reform evolving at a rapid pace it is imperative that nurses, as an integral component of our health care system, play a pivotal role in the development and implementation of any reform that takes place.”

This year’s event will be in Adelaide and runs November 2–4. The first day is for ACN members only, followed by two forum days open to all.

The list of presenters includes nurses from all areas – policymakers, researchers, educators and newly registered clinicians.

Delegates can expect the focus to be on the delivery of practical take-home skills easily integrated into their daily practice. This is in answer to feedback from previous conferences that indicated practical, interactive sessions or workshops were a worthwhile addition.

“The workshops will challenge delegates to carefully reflect on and evaluate their own individual practice – essential requirements for any nurse wanting to enhance their skills and how they interact with patients and their colleagues,” Morgan says.

Highlights will include presentations from thought leader Dr Keith Suter and comedians Malcolm Dix and Fiona O’Loughlin.

Suter will be encouraging delegates to think beyond themselves. He will deliver the skills necessary to identify drivers of change and then detect patterns within all changes.

Dix will be looking at how nurses, as individuals, can make changes in their own lives to be less stressed and more focused. O’Loughlin’s presentation will be a much more personal account of her own experiences of overcoming adversity.

Morgan says that as both ACN president and a nurse herself, she is excited for the opportunities that the conference will bring to enhance practice.

“Nurses are a critical link to providing optimum healthcare for those in our community and this year’s forum will provide delegates with practical tools to ensure their own nursing practice is staying ahead of the game and meeting the needs of those we care for.”

Featured speakers

Brian Dolan, emergency and mental health nurse: Dolan is skilled in change management, executive leadership and service improvement. He will provide attendees with lessons on leadership, influence and culture. His keynote presentation is set to provide nurses with the key to changing habits, identify how habits stop the release of potential and show why nurses – both as individuals and in their careers – matter.

Susan O’Neill, Albury Wodonga Health chief executive: O’Neill, who has a qualification in cancer nursing and holds a master of nursing science, is studying an executive MBA. She will show why “clarity of strategy, an understanding of demand and capacity and a relentless focus on improvement and involving staff” are must haves for all nurse executives.

Christine Duffield and Glenn Gardner: Duffield and Gardner will try to break down the confusion that surrounds the meaning of advanced practice nursing and the titles within it.

The pair will contribute to international debate on this topic by illustrating the extent of this worldwide problem. They will also propose a way forward for nursing in Australia.

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