For many years – certainly as long ago as 1998 when I entered general practice – nurses have been talking about a structured approach to employment into general practice, the education to provide relevant high quality nursing care and an appropriate structure of recognition to reflect these.
With constant input and persistent lobbying, APNA has secured funding to start this process – a very important milestone, and one to be celebrated. Even more important is to make sure we seize this opportunity and agree on a framework that suits the needs of nurses, employers, general practice teams and patients.
For this reason, the input of members is incredibly important to this process and we need to hear from all members on what you see our career framework to look like.
From novice to experienced and advanced level nurses, ultimately it is going to effect YOU!
A framework will improve recruitment, improve retention, increase recognition of skills and qualifications, and support nurse productivity by ensuring you are able to work to you full professional capability, support quality assurance by making sure the right nurse is performing the right care on the right patient at the right time.
It is hoped the career framework will encourage and recognise the important role nurses play not only as mentors of other nurses but in the development of primary health care capacity and service delivery. A well articulated career framework will facilitate a better understanding of the vital role of nurses in primary health care by employers and other health disciplines. Importantly it also supports primary health care reform, improving access by utilising nursing skills appropriately to expand access to care earlier where it can make a difference, and that means saving money for our health system.
So, what do you have to say on all this? Do you think a framework will be of any use? Will it help you in any tangible way?
What does a framework look like to you? Where do you fit into the big picture?