6 January 2014

Happy New Year to all APNA members and friends.

I was very fortunate to have a lovely yet busy Christmas and New Year, spent surrounded by family with more or less an open house catching up with friends. I suspect, like many, we partook too much of all things Chrismas and now it is back to reality. I hope many of you were fortunate enough to enjoy a least a few days hard earned time away from work and the opportunity of a few laughs and lots of fun over the festive season.

2014 brings with it new challenges for all of us working in primary health care. Fiscal restraints may not be new but undoubtedly will require a change in direction. At APNA we know that utilising our discipline of the Australian nursing workforce to its full capacity will be crucial. In order to appropriately support our communities we need to find the recipe to work smarter to deliver the level of care and education required to address individual and community needs. Not an easy task, but as the professional organisation supporting primary health care nurses, APNA remains committed and seriously focused on this.

As you will be aware, APNA together with AML Alliance are partnering to jointly deliver the Nursing in General Practice (NiGP) Program over the next two years. Whilst this program has a fundamental focus on NiGP it will be applicable and deliverable to most of our primary health care nursing discipline. New initiatives will be developed through demonstration projects and further development of the strong foundations of nursing leadership, education, resource development, research and policy work, and strategic promotion and positioning of NiGP and primary health care nursing nationally. For more information please see your summer edition of Primary Times.

2014 will be a very busy and very exciting year for APNA members and APNA’s hard working team. I look forward to working with many of you over the next year and perhaps meeting with many of you at various APNA gatherings across our beautiful nation throughout the year.

Once again, I wish you a happy and safe 2014.
Your thoughts are very welcome at president@apna.asn.au.

25 November 2013

It has been another very exciting and busy fortnight for APNA with submissions to the review of the national ehealth record (PCEHR) and draft standard for medical refrigeration equipment for the storage of vaccines, both of which will be available on the APNA website very soon. APNA was also represented at the AML Alliance National Primary Health Care Conference 2013 and the Health Workforce Australia conference Skilled and Flexible – The health workforce for Australia’s future. Two recurring themes at both of these conferences were around the international growing burden of chronic disease and the urgent need for smarter workforce solutions to ensure we can adequately manage this growing health burden.

APNA is advocating strongly that primary health care nurses are an integral part of the workforce solution, able and committed to fighting the the tsunami of chronic disease confronting us.

As the peak national body supporting and representing nurses in primary health care, APNA’s top advocacy priority is the development of an education and career framework for nurses in general practice and other primary health care settings. Part of this framework needs to be around preparation and entry to practice.

APNA is concerned that there is no formal education and training pathway into general practice and primary health care nursing and no framework for skills development and career progression. Access to education and training specific to nursing in general practice and primary health care is patchy, variable and inconsistent. There is no supported program for undergraduate nurse clinical placements in general practice and primary health care, or for induction and support for graduate nurses and others new to the setting. In the absence of appropriate education, training, and induction programs, there are significant risks that the number of nurses needed with the appropriate skill sets will not be available to meet the needs of general practice and primary health care in the near future.

To begin addressing these issues, through its partnership with the AML Alliance on the Nursing in General Practice Program, APNA will shortly be commencing work to develop improved options for the future for undergraduate clinical nursing placements in general practice and primary health care settings, and for transition to practice programs for nurses entering general practice and primary health care. APNA will be consulting widely with its members and stakeholders in undertaking this work, and it is hoped the outcomes will provide a blueprint for government action.

Your thoughts are very welcome at president@apna.asn.au.

28 October 2013

On behalf of APNA, I would like to extend our thoughts to those affected by the devastating bushfires still burning across NSW and the ACT. The impact of these bushfires affect lives and whole communities and recovery can be slow and very difficult for many. It is a timely reminder for all of us of the importance of utilising the resources available to assist with disaster preparedness or to assist with recovery. Please read further for links to these resources.

Over the last week I have been  delighted to announce, on behalf of Board and staff, that APNA is partnering with the Australian Medicare Local Alliance to jointly deliver the Nursing in General Practice (NiGP) Program over the next two years.

This exciting new partnership offers an opportunity to support and build the capacity of our vital primary health care nursing workforce. The program of work aligns with and will help achieve APNA’s strategic vision of a healthy Australia through best practice primary health care nursing. At APNA we look forward to beginning this new phase of support and service delivery to frontline nurses, and we believe by expanding opportunities for nurses in primary health care the outcome will be better health care for the Australian community.

Your thoughts are very welcome at president@apna.asn.au.