Primary health care nurses campaign to work to full scope of practice

Primary healthcare

Primary health care nurses are calling on policymakers to better utilise nurses in the sector by enabling them to work to their full scope of practice.

On today’s inaugural Primary Health Care Nurses Day, established to highlight the pivotal work nurses carry out across the sector, Australian Primary Health Care Nurses Association (APNA) leaders, including President Karen Booth, and several PCH nurses, are meeting with Health and Aged Care Minister Mark Butler, and Assistant Health and Aged Care Minister Ged Kearney in Canberra, to discuss barriers preventing PHC nurses from making an even bigger difference to the health and wellbeing of Australians.

Latest data from APNA’s Workforce Survey reveals almost one third of PCH nurses (31%) are still unable to work to their full scope.

“Nurses are safe, highly skilled, regulated and trusted. It’s time our health system allowed them to use their full skills and experience to improve the health of Australia,” APNA President Karen Booth said.

“Nurses have a sophisticated skill-set and we know that enabling them to work to their full scope of practice will improve access to care and help tackle health workforce shortages across Australia.”

According to the survey findings, released today, PHC nurses are capable and willing to tackle chronic disease and prevent illness, but are held back, due to funding restrictions and other key systems and structural barriers.

Ms Booth said the launch of Primary Health Care Nurses Day, which aims to recognise the critical work the 96,000 nurses across the country do outside the hospital setting in areas like aged care, general practice, schools, and prisons, provides a platform to lobby for reforms. As part of the day, people are being asked to wear primary colours (red, blue, yellow) to show their support.

“PHC nurses are safe, highly-skilled, regulated and trusted. They are also ready, willing, and able to do more for the health of Australia if they are supported by the right policy changes,” Ms Booth said.

“APNA looks forward to working with the Albanese Government to implement policies that enable nurses to work to their full scope of practice to support and improve the health of the Australian community.”

Learn more and get involved with Primary Health Care Nurses Day here

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