The Australian Primary Health Care Nurses Association (APNA) and School Nurses Australia (SNA) have agreed to amalgamate in a bid to give all primary healthcare nurses more influence and a stronger voice.
APNA is the peak professional body for 89,000 primary healthcare nurses working outside of hospital settings in Australia. Meanwhile, SNA represents nurses who work in almost 10,000 schools across Australia, including private, public, day and boarding schools.
SNA members voted in favour of the amalgamation last week. As part of the agreement, school nurse members will receive initial complementary APNA membership and will gain access to APNA’s range of member benefits, including education resources, industry news and guidelines, expert advice and support and career tools and professional benefits.
The merged body will continue to be known as APNA.
APNA Acting CEO Mitch Wall welcomed SNA members and said the amalgamation process would begin immediately.
“This merger of APNA and SNA gives all primary healthcare nurses more influence and a stronger voice with all levels of government and with stakeholders in health and education departments,” he declared.
“SNA has a rich heritage of service, having represented the interests of school nurses for more than 40 years. APNA looks forward to honouring SNA’s heritage, hard work and passion.
Mr Wall said APNA would aim to continue to work to achieve positive changes for all primary healthcare nurses, whether they work in schools, general practice, correctional facilities, or in First Nations communities.
SNA President Lisa Chalmers said amalgamating with APNA was the best option for school nurses.
“The amalgamation of SNA into APNA will achieve long-term viability, sustainability, professional development opportunities and professional growth for school nurses,” she said.
“This is the best option to continue to deliver vibrant, relevant and expanded member services to the important school nursing profession.”