Conference Abstracts

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Time to step up to big 'N' nursing

McDonald, T. A., 2011

INP/APN Conference, London, England

ABSTRACT

Nursing sits at the nexus between traditional systems of care, and innovations responding to the varied and developing opportunities arising from professional status, information and communication technologies and political will. Nurse practitioners in Australia are poised to participate in a demographic transition in which the proportion of persons in the oldest aged group is increasing and most care will be delivered in the community. Government reforms aim to achieve equitable, timely and appropriate health care for all Australians and central to these aims is improvement of community access to primary health care services. Cooperation is expected among health practitioners to assist older people to manage their health care needs. Nurses are key to these health reforms.

Political will is evident in government programs such as the Nurse Practitioner Aged Care Models of Practice program that supports workforce reforms and broader health workforce activity to improve access to primary health through a wider range of service delivery options. Practise within this new environment, if untethered from traditional thinking, will extend clinical nursing frameworks as well as validate nurse participation in high level policy forums. Professional standards of practice need to keep pace with these changes and ensure that the secondary purposes to which these standards are put are carefully considered in their drafting.

The Australian Nurse practitioner standards will be discussed in terms of their relevance to what nurse practitioners are doing and intend to do; and their appropriateness to regulatory auditing systems that monitor nurse prescribing and pharmaceutical subsidies. Models of independent nurse practice will be discussed in terms of relativities with other health disciplines that are in private practice. As well we will examine whether the standards nurses set for themselves compare favourably with standards set by business, government and other professionals in private practice.

Learning outcomes

Participants will:

  1. understand the development of different models of nurse practitioner practice in Australia
  2. link opportunities for innovation in nurse practice to policy frameworks that drive reform
  3. identify different ways in which nurse practice standards used by government and other agencies overseeing advanced practice nursing activities

CITATION McDonald, T. A. (2011) Time to step up to big ā€˜Nā€™ nursing. 7th International Nurse Practitioner/ Advanced Practice Nursing Network Conference, Imperial College, London, 20-22 August.

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