Unprecedented Opportunity To Keep Nurses In Nursing

International Nurses Day 2024

“Our nurses, our future – the economic power of care”

On International Nurses Day (IND) 2024, the Australian College of Nursing (ACN) is urging governments to work with the nursing profession to deliver significant health reforms that will keep nurses in nursing to ensure that all Australians continue to have access to quality affordable health care, no matter where they live and no matter their means.

The theme for IND 2024 is Our Nurses, Our Future – the economic power of care.

ACN Interim CEO, Professor Leanne Boyd, said today that the Federal Government’s current suite of reforms and reviews provide an unprecedented opportunity for the nation to benefit from the unlimited potential of our highly skilled and dedicated nursing workforce.

Professor Boyd said that the reviews – especially the Unleashing the Potential of our Health Workforce – Scope of Practice Review (the ‘Cormack Review’) – have the potential to allow nurses, nurse practitioners, and midwives to work to their full scope of practice to benefit patients and add another layer of appeal to a life-long career in nursing.

“The Government’s Health Legislation (Removal of Requirement for a Collaborative Arrangement) Bill has already provided nurses and midwives with much-deserved respect and acknowledgement of their clinical expertise,” Professor Boyd said.

“It is evidence that there is a mood for further genuine reform to enhance the contribution of nurses in health care.

“There are increasing numbers of rewarding career pathways for nurses. Allowing nurses to work to their full scope will dramatically increase career pathway options and make them more rewarding.

“This will attract more people to nursing, keep more nurses in nursing, and attract experienced nurses back to nursing.

“ACN has called for a national Image of Nursing campaign to promote the profession and accelerate recruitment, retention, and return to nursing activity.

“Investment is needed to ensure the education pathway for nurses is supportive and nurturing.

“And further reforms that value and appreciate the skills and qualifications of nurses – as we are currently seeing – will help sustain and grow the nursing workforce to meet accelerating demand for quality health care.

“Nursing is the solution for the health workforce challenges facing the nation with a growing and ageing population and increasing incidence of complex and chronic disease.

“Nursing is the solution to address the loss of health services and other health professionals in many communities, especially in rural, regional, and remote Australia.

“Nurses can collaboratively lead the multidisciplinary care and interdisciplinary education that is vital to ensure equitable access to care for all Australians.

“Nursing is the largest and most geographically dispersed health profession in Australia.

“There are more than 450,000 nurses and midwives providing care across the country, with nurses the most qualified health professional living and working in some communities. In some places, they are the only health professional.

“Significant and strategic investment in nursing will deliver economic and societal benefits.

“Investment in nursing makes economic sense. It is common sense. It will deliver the health care that patients need and deserve.

“Let’s keep nurses in nursing. Let’s encourage more people to become nurses.

“Let’s shine a light on nurses and celebrate nursing. It is a wonderful profession.”

ACN has provided host packs for around 800 National Nurses Breakfasts in workplaces all around the country to celebrate International Nurses Day.

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