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Sunday, July 3, 2022

ACN urges all parties to address nursing workforce crisis during election campaign

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In wake of Sunday’s announcement of Saturday, May 21 as the date of the Federal Election, the Australian College of Nursing (ACN) is urging politicians to prioritise the issues impacting the nursing profession throughout the campaign, in the interests of the health of all Australians. 

“For the last two years, nurses have led Australians through the unprecedented challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic,” ACN CEO Adjunct Professor Kylie Ward said.

“I constantly hear stories from my colleagues sharing the exhausting toll of COVID-19 on their physical and mental health as they care for the sick and vulnerable as well as the need to better invest the health care dollar to optimise Australia’s largest and most geographically accessible workforce.

Registered nurses are central to leading reform in our health and aged care systems and improving the health of all Australians, particularly our most vulnerable.

ACN CEO, Adjunct Professor Kylie Ward

“This federal election, all political parties must place long term and tangible solutions to address the crisis facing the nursing workforce.

“Registered nurses are central to leading reform in our health and aged care systems and improving the health of all Australians, particularly our most vulnerable.

“However, there needs to be investments on multiple fronts to ensure our workforce is sustainable and optimally utilised for generations to come.”

Ward pointed to the need for election commitments to focus on ensuring registered nurses with specific training in aged care are available on-site 24/7 in aged care facilities, addressing the unacceptable levels of occupational violence the profession experiences and allowing advanced practice nurses to work to their full scope.

“ACN is a bi-partisan and for-purpose organisation that exists to support the views and expertise of the more than 400,000 nurses we represent nationally,” she said.

“The solutions we have consistently advocated for to address the workforce crisis are directly informed by the lived experiences of nurses on all frontline settings of care delivery including aged care, mental health, primary care, hospitals and emergency departments.

“During the campaign, I urge political leaders to listen to the concerns of Australia’s largest health profession, as the health of our nation will suffer without nurses.”

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