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Victoria Traynor (left) with fellow researcher Nicole Britten from the University of Wollongong School of Nursing. Photo: UOW

New gerontology framework to ensure skills for nurses

In the wake of the aged care royal commission and a perceived skills shortage in the sector, the University of Wollongong, in partnership with the Illawarra Health and Medical Research Institute, has released the Gerontological Nursing Competencies (GNCs) framework.

The framework provides an evidence-based pathway where nurses can develop specialist skills.

A study of the framework found that the program produced nurses who were more confident and skilled.

The research was led by Professor Victoria Traynor of the UOW School of Nursing, who saw a problem with the make-up of the current workforce. While the number of support staff has risen, registered nurse numbers have stayed the same, leading to a skills shortage.

“A competency framework says if you’re working in aged care as a registered nurse, you should be competent in these areas. It would give the public reassurance that the aged care industry is going to deliver services of a similar high standard,” Traynor said.

“Using this framework will contribute to the delivery of high-quality person-centred care by enabling staff to know what aspects of aged care are the most valuable and the standards they are expected to reach in their individual practice.”

Nursing Review spoke with Traynor to unpack the new competencies.

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