Hailing nurse innovation: Primary health care nurses have so much to offer

International Nurses Day 2017

12 May 2017

To all nurses working in primary health care and beyond, the Australian Primary Health Care Nurses Association says thank you.

Australian primary health care nurses are trained, regulated, highly skilled, effective providers of evidenced-based care, are cost effective, excellent communicators, and well trusted by the Australian community.

Primary health care nurses are proven agents of change, key drivers of process improvements, the ones to identify opportunities to streamline operations, and promote uptake of new approaches.

Primary health care nurses are agents of connectivity, developing partnerships, putting patients in touch with community agencies and services, liaising with hospitals and aged care facilities.

Primary health care nurses play a key role in care coordination, case management, practice capacity, holistic health assessments, liaising with community services, and data cleaning, making nurses key to the effective management of chronic and complex diseases.

And yet a significant number of primary health care nurses are not practising to their full scope of practice, to which they have been trained and are regulated. Allowing primary health care nurses to work to their full scope of practice – or even work towards expanding their scope of practice – can open doors to innovation and health cost savings.

Take the International Council of Nurses’ A Voice to Lead website, which features examples of nurse innovation and outstanding nurse-led care; case studies from around the world include leading Australian examples of nursing such as Nurse Navigators, Valuing Nursing Graduates, Camp Diabetes, and Inclusive Health led by APNA Member and Nurse of the Year Finalist Kim Rayner.

A sustainable and supported primary health care nursing workforce, where nurses play a more significant role in the prevention and management of chronic diseases, will be key to ensuring Australia’s healthcare system is effective and affordable.

Echoing the International Council of Nurses theme A Voice to Lead, APNA encourages nurses working in primary health care to use your voice, to stand up and be counted.

It’s time to get involved, and unite to be the advocate for our profession and our patients.

Together we need to speak up and show our world leaders that nurses are the ones that advocate for the sick, who have the skills and knowledge to make the ill feel safe, secure and cared for…

Everyday nurses working at the heart of the community are best placed to understand the links between wider conditions, and individual and population health. As the primary providers of healthcare to all communities in all settings, nurses are key…

Each and every nurse can make a difference. Use your voice. Share your stories. Let us celebrate your achievements to secure our profession for future generations, and continue to be leaders in healthcare for all the world.

International Council of Nurses

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