Celebrating International Nurses Day 2024

This year’s IND theme – Our Nurses. Our Future. The economic power of care’ is an opportunity to acknowledge that nurses are the ‘backbone’ of the Australian healthcare system and how the quality care they provide ensures a healthier, more productive society.

“We wish all of our nurses a Happy International Nurses Day, a time to celebrate and consider the role of nurses in our society and the invaluable contributions they make in health and aged care,” ANMF Federal Secretary, Annie Butler, said today.

“As we know, nurses are the largest clinical component of the health workforce in Australia, but what isn’t appreciated is how the work of nurses underpins the ‘health’ of the economy. The quality, compassionate care they deliver has a significant multiplier effect across the community, keeping people healthy and out of hospital, which in-turn, reduces governments’ healthcare costs, at a time when demand for health and aged care services only continues to grow.

“Australia’s nursing profession is still undervalued, underfunded and severely underutilised – and that must change if we, as a nation, want to boost the economic benefits of the nursing workforce. One cost-effective way of doing this, is by putting nurses at the forefront of person-centred-care. Nurses should be leading innovative, cost-effective models of care, such as the successful nurse-led walk-in clinics in the ACT and Tasmania.

“Enabling all nurses to work to their full scope of practice, including referral pathways, ordering diagnostics and prescribing medicines, provides people with access to quality care when and where they need it. This is particularly important in rural and remote and Indigenous communities and many underserved metropolitan areas, which suffer severe workforce shortages. Australia’s enrolled nurses must also be better supported in health and aged care as critical and often highly experienced and skilled registered health professionals. Boosting the numbers of, and support for, highly-qualified Nurse-Practitioners (NPs) will also promote good health through effectively managing chronic health conditions and preventing diseases while avoiding unnecessary cost impacts on the economy.

“The ANMF and our members are calling on governments for greater investment, support and reforms in nursing to increase the economic power of care.”

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