Australian Primary Health Care Nurses Association

A New Era in Primary Health Care Nursing

Coinciding with this year’s International Nurses Day, this week’s Federal Budget has had some significant outcomes for the primary health care, nursing workforce.

The Federal Budget delivered on 9th May 2023, APNA believes will strengthen Australia’s primary health care (PHC) system by addressing growing nursing shortages, seeing more nurses hired where they are needed, and better utilising the largest workforce in PHC of nearly 100,000 nurses to their full potential to reduce the pressure on the health system.  

Strong primary care nursing solutions for a healthier Australia

The CEO of Australian Primary Health Care Nurses Association (APNA), Ken Griffin spoke with Australian Health Journal about the following:

– APNA President Karen Booth representing Primary Care Nursing in the Australian Government led Strengthening Medicare Task Force
– The current key challenges in primary care nursing
– Programs on diversity and student placement proposed in APNA’s pre-budget submission to Federal Government
– A proposed initiative called Nurse-Supported Self-Care, with broadening role primary care nursing would play in the community
– Hopes for other health priorities addressed in the Federal Budget

In the lead up to the Australian Federal Budget in May 2023, Australian Health Journal reached out to peak health industry bodies to hear about their priorities, either noted in pre-budget submissions lodged with Federal Government in January 2023 or in recent forums such as the Strengthening Medicare Taskforce.

Student nurse placements in primary health care

With an urgent need to manage increasing rates of chronic disease, an ageing population, and a rapidly-ageing primary health care nurse workforce, Australia desperately needs more primary health care nurses to enter the workforce before the current generation retires and cannot pass on its skills.

Most nurses start their career in a hospital. Historically, it was difficult for universities and tertiary education providers to arrange placements for student nurses in primary health care. However, the APNA Student Nurse Placement Program provides student nurses with a foot in the door to a career in vibrant primary health care settings such as general practice or community health to perform supervised activities.

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