Champions of Change: Year in Review 2020-2021

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Champions OF CHANGE

YEAR IN REVIEW 2020–2021

CONTENTS President’s welcome


CEO welcome


Leading through the unprecedented


Advancing the nursing influence


Raising the nursing profile


Progressing nurse leadership


Caring for our own


Year in Review 2020-2021


PRESIDENT’S WELCOME Professor Christine Duffield FACN

Welcome to the 2020–2021 edition of the Year in Review. I would like to start by acknowledging the work of all nurses during the past year. At the time of writing half our country is locked down, and more and more nurses and health care workers are impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. I would also like to thank our Distinguished Life Fellows, Fellows and Members for your unwavering support and contribution to the work of the Australian College of Nursing (ACN) this past year. Your collective effort has assisted us to support our profession and the community we serve. In 2020, ACN launched the COVID-19 Nurses Support Strategy through the COVID-19 Disclosure Portal which enabled nurses to anonymously share with us their workplace issues and concerns around safety. Also released under the Strategy was the Nurses’ Buddy Hub, which established a platform that nurses could use to seek support from, or provide support to, their peers. ACN also launched the COVID-19 Nursing Workforce Solutions Expert Advisory Group as part of the Strategy. The focus of this Group is to remove barriers to nurses delivering care in the community by advocating for funding and resources that will allow nurses to provide care for people in their homes and via telehealth.


Australian College of Nursing

We were also pleased this year to be able to host the ACN Policy Summit in Canberra in a rare face-to-face but also, virtual format. Speakers included a range of high-profile nurse and policy leaders, and ACN Fellows and Members. Discussions around key policy and advocacy issues were undertaken as ACN’s Policy Chapters presented their work from the previous year and outlined their plans for the coming year. I would like to thank all of you for the invaluable role you play in shaping the future of health care, highlighting the contribution our profession can make. ACN continues to advocate for our profession at the Commonwealth level, through evidence given at the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety, and a submission to the 2021–2022 Federal Budget. In both, we have highlighted the need for funding for transition to practice programs to encourage and support nurses to enter the aged care sector. ACN was also able to support the development of our nursing workforce through our educational offerings. We enrolled 3,828 Graduate Certificate students this past year. The 307 Immunisation for Health Practitioners course witnessed an all-time high of 5,913 enrolments. In a related achievement, this course became the first in Australia to be accredited by Health Education Services Australia (HESA). Aside from this, the COVID-19 Vaccination Training Program, which the Australian

Government developed in collaboration with ACN, enrolled 124, 241 candidates. These numbers are a testimony to ACN’s leadership in developing workforce capacity in our profession but also, the wider health care team. Through the Institute of Leadership, we were also pleased to welcome participants to our Mid-Career Nurse Leadership Program and the inaugural Nurse Executive Leadership Program in June this year. I would also like to congratulate our 53 Emerging Nurse Leaders (ENLs) who have completed the prestigious ENL Program, despite the personal and professional challenges they faced with the pandemic. While nurturing the future leaders of this profession, we must also acknowledge those who came before us. Through the Australian College of Nursing (ACN) Foundation, we aim to honour one such nurse leader, LTCOL Vivian Bullwinkel AO MBE ARRC ED FNM FRCNA by fundraising to erect a sculpture in the grounds of the Australian War Memorial. In closing, and on behalf of the Board, I would like to sincerely thank all of you – our Distinguished Fellows, Fellows, Members and staff for your ongoing support and contribution to ACN. We will continue to advocate for the importance of nurses and nursing to the health and wellbeing of all Australians on your behalf.

Year in Review 2020-2021


CEO WELCOME Adjunct Professor Kylie Ward FACN

Here we are, at the end of yet another 12 momentous months during which you provided the highest quality of care in the face of unprecedented personal and professional difficulties. Your unmatched resilience, compassion and dedication to our profession and communities has proved that nurses are the foundation of our health and aged care systems. As the pre-eminent and national leader of the nursing profession, the Australian College of Nursing (ACN) has been privileged to support you as the country persists in its fight against the COVID-19 virus. During 2020–2021, we continued to focus on implementing initiatives and working with key decisionmakers to establish solutions to assist you in Australia’s response to COVID-19.


conversations and address the barriers for nurses to practice to their full scope during this global pandemic. The Parliamentary Friends of Nursing is co-chaired by Ged Kearney MP, Federal Member of Parliament for Cooper and Dr Anne Webster MP, Federal Member for Mallee.

mental, physical, emotional and spiritual wellbeing. We can only fully provide care when we care for ourselves. In this regard, I have been grateful to be part of the NurseStrong family and witness the love, encouragement and compassion you have shown your colleagues.

Our nursing voice was also amplified this past year through representation in the media as well as the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety, as we persistently highlighted the importance of nurses in aged care and the steps that urgently need to be taken to support them to safeguard our vulnerable elderly population.

A little kindness goes a long way, and to do our small part in spreading a little bit of joy, we were able to send hundreds of care packages to our NurseStrong members, neo members as well as general members over the last year. We were delighted to see your excitement and happiness over these specially curated gifts that also supported local Australian businesses impacted by natural disasters, as well as the lovely Shhh Silk mini fridges that were generously donated by Olivia Carr to gift to nurses across Australia.

Through the COVID-19 Vaccination Training Program, which was developed in collaboration with the Australian Government, we ensured that our workforce was well-equipped and prepared to contribute to the country’s vaccination rollout. At the same time, we continued to call to political leaders’ attention the importance of placing nurses at the front and centre of the rollout process.

Of course, none of this would have been possible without the expertise, experience and support generously provided to us by our Distinguished Life Fellows, Fellows and Members. I would particularly like to thank our Chairs and leadership teams of States, Territories, Regions, Policy Chapters and Communities of Interest for their exceptional leadership during this tough year. In times when we could not physically meet, they have ensured nurses across Australia remained connected through online events and support resources.

A key outcome of this was the inaugural Parliamentary Friends of Nursing, a forum for the nursing profession to engage with leaders of the country to start crucial

I have been humbled by the resilience you have shown in these incredibly difficult months. However, behind that resilience lies a nurse who needs support for their

Australian College of Nursing

As we look ahead, I hope that you will keep up this spirit and camaraderie. I know that as we persevere in our battle against the pandemic, we will collectively continue to raise our profile, advocate for the profession and protect our communities. I am proud to call myself a nurse and I’m honoured to be part of this exceptional ACN Tribe. Warmest regards Kylie

Year in Review 2020-2021


Hightlights FOR ACN JULY 2020 – JUNE 2021

Increase in ACN membership*


Increase in Affiliates*


care packages sent

Emerging Nurse Leader program

53 ENLs


completed the program

Graduate Certificate students

neo app downloads:

1,207 6

Australian College of Nursing


Institute of Leadership scholarships:


scholarships worth AUD $1 million

Enrolments for the Government-funded COVID-19 vaccination training program:




Number of webinar registrants:



Policy consultations:


6,714 up by 20%*

Enrolments in the immunisation course Number of ACN Expo attendees:

NurseStrong members

Registrations for IND National Nurses Breakfast 2021:


*Recorded over 12 months from July 2020 – June 2021

Free webinars offered to ACN members

Year in Review 2020-2021



Australian College of Nursing

Leading through the unprecedented

Year in Review 2020-2021



s the pre-eminent nursing organisation in Australia, the Australian College of Nursing (ACN), with its membership’s unwavering support, is proud to stand behind every nurse in the country through these unprecedented times.

During the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we swiftly established several initiatives, just a few of which include the COVID-19 Nursing Workforce Solutions Expert Advisory Group, the Nurses’ Buddy Hub and the Refresher Programs for Registered and Enrolled Nurses. Through these initiatives, nurses have been able to receive professional guidance to optimally contribute to Australia’s response to the pandemic, refresh their acute care nursing skills, and seek or provide emotional and professional support to help navigate these challenging times. Their calibre, conviction and loyalty to protect Australia’s communities – often at the risk of their own safety and that of their loved ones – is why we are privileged to be part of this profession. We continue to strive to provide assistance in every way possible so that nurses can deliver the best health care safely.


Australian College of Nursing

ACN COVID-19 NURSES SUPPORT STRATEGY ACN’s undeniable commitment to advocating for nurses’ safety has been evident from the moment the COVID-19 pandemic unfolded in March 2020. As part of our COVID-19 Nurses Support Strategy, we adeptly formed the COVID-19 Nursing Workforce Solutions Expert Advisory Group (EAG) to help inform the Australian Government on critical, urgent and emerging workforce issues relevant to the nursing profession.

The EAG, composed of dedicated ACN Fellows and Members, submitted a Statement of Action on Nursing Workforce Solutions and Supporting Documentation to the Minister for Health Australian Government. The ACN COVID-19 Disclosure Portal, Nurses’ Buddy Hub and free CPD webinars were launched alongside the EAG to support nurses around the country.

SUPPORTING YOU The 12 months spanning 2020–2021 have taken an unanticipated toll on the nursing workforce physically, mentally and emotionally. In addition to protecting communities against a pandemic, nurses have had to cope with challenges such as lack of Personal Protection Equipment (PPE), excessive bureaucracy and being ostracised for contracting the virus while working and living in the communities they serve. As the leading voice for nurses in Australia, ACN took the initiative to launch the confidential COVID-19 Disclosure Portal and the Nurses’ Buddy Hub to support them in this unprecedented time. Through the Disclosure Portal, nurses were encouraged to anonymously report incidents and shortcomings in the health care system that were creating barriers for them in caring for patients. It enabled them to speak up about

professional practice issues and the practical solutions they see are needed. In the 48 hours following its launch, ACN received thousands of responses, proving the need for a safe space in which nurses could share their concerns of working through the pandemic. The Nurses’ Buddy Hub was introduced to allow nurses around the country to offer support to their colleagues on the COVID-19 frontline. Nurses registered and connected with a Buddy to either offer their support or ask for it to help in promoting self-care, dealing with workplace challenges and coping with mental health in this challenging time.

I registered to be a buddy in the Nurse Buddy program to be able to offer support to fellow nurses during the current COVID-19 situation and to feel that I was making a contribution. I have been very fortunate to have had some amazing role models, mentors and support during my career, both formally and informally. During this extraordinary year, which has turned out to be nothing like we anticipated, nurses have continued to shine during very challenging times. The opportunity to be able to offer support, reassurance or guidance to a fellow nurse who is experiencing struggles, challenges, doubts, anxiety, fatigue or change is a privilege. Nurses have continually demonstrated how vital we are to the health care system. Our resolve to roll with it, get our gear on and get the job done has made me very proud. LYN BRETT MACN

We thank all those who offered their time and support to peers in need, and to those on the receiving end, for seeking support and encouragement from their colleagues for their wellbeing.

Year in Review 2020-2021


CAPTURING YOUR STORIES The Year of the Nurse and the Midwife was an extraordinary one. In a year like no other, nurses led from the front, guiding the country through devastating natural disasters and a pandemic, and consequently creating unique stories from their experiences. To ensure that these are captured for posterity and to preserve this year in history, ACN invited Distinguished Life Fellows, Fellows, Members and Students to share their experiences through the ACN Community Digital Mosaic Wall. The individual images and stories of nurses across Australia were combined into one image symbolising nursing in 2020. The historic image portrays a diverse and fascinating picture of what it was like to be a nurse in 2020.


Australian College of Nursing

Year in Review 2020-2021


COVID-19 WEBINARS As part of ACN’s COVID-19 Nurses Support Strategy, we were able to offer a series of webinars to support our membership during this unprecedented time. Among others, the webinars were aimed at providing our Fellows and Members with tools to manage their wellbeing and share insights into the response to COVID-19 in Victoria.

Responding to Challenging Behaviours in Young People

Keys to Successful Mentoring Relationships – Part 4

Keys to Successful Mentoring Relationships – Part 1

Nursing in Low Resource Settings During COVID-19 – Perspectives from Médecins Sans Frontières

COVID-19 Preventing Burnout, Promote Positive Mental Health

Keys to Successful Mentoring Relationships – Part 2

Celebrating Diversity: Top End Nursing Stories

The Story Behind the Stats: A WA Nurse’s VIC COVID Journey

Keys to Successful Mentoring Relationships – Part 3

COVID-19: How to Boost Lasting Resilience

Covering a wide variety of areas such as mentoring, leadership, mental wellbeing, nursing informatics and research pathways, these webinars received a tremendous response from our members who appreciated the guidance and information on issues relevant to our profession.


Australian College of Nursing

The National Nursing and Midwifery Digital Health Capability Framework webinar

SEED: Mental Wellbeing & Burnout Initiative

Sharing the Care: Taking Chemotherapy into the Community

Nursing on the Frontline: The Experiences of Nurses as First Responders

International Nursing COI: The New Registration Pathway

Dealing with Grief and Loss Across The Lifespan

Vaccine Equity for Frontline Workers

Vaccine Hesitancy and the COVID-19 Vaccines

Research Pathways

Digital Age of Nursing

Nursing Informatics During the Pandemic: New Ways of Working

Disturbing Dominate Discourse: Aboriginal Nurses 1900–1950

Year in Review 2020-2021



Wellbeing in the Context of Chaos

COVID-19: Update from International & National Presenters

Nurses as Climate Champions

COVID-19: Effects on Acute & Public Health Sectors in Tasmania

Celebrating Diversity: Working with Trans & Gender Diverse

Career Pathways in Nursing Informatics

Nursing during COVID-19: Resilience and Uncertainty

QLD Graduate Transition to Practice Programs

Gertrude Berger Oration and Symposium 2020

Mental Health Service Reform in Tasmania

The Role of Nurses in Supporting Parkinson’s Disease Clients

Australian College of Nursing

Thank you to the presenters Professor Catriona Booker FACN

Guillaume Leroux MACN

Jackie Donsante

Ruth De Souza FACN

Zara Lord MACN

Sonja Elia

Adjunct Associate Professor Naomi Dobroff FACN

Lavanya Naidoo MACN

Stuart Emslie

Bronwen Neely MACN

Professor Katie Flanagan

Moira Noonan MACN

Jess Giles

Nicole Norman MACN

Professor Caroline Homer AO

Debra Pittam MACN

Arunn Jegan

Halley Pollock MACN

Sharon Kirsopp

Laura Pyszkowski MACN

Kristy Koehne

Catelyn Richards MACN

Phillipa Lee

Jacob Roberts MACN

Kerry Mcleod

Kate Saw MACN

JP Miller

Catherine Schofield MACN

Roslyn Morgan

David Stewart MACN

Katrina Otto

Dr Ylona Chun Tie MACN

Adjunct Professor Michael Olasoji

Helen Truscott MACN

Padmini Pai

Shannon Wallis MACN

Anthony Pham

Ann Whitfield MACN

Dr Elizabeth Pritchard

Dr Diana Wong MACN

Beth Reszke

Loretta Woodford MACN

Savannah Ricks

Fiona Armstrong

Sue Sharrod

Professor Tony Blakely

Dawn Whittall

Christine Burns

Tanya Vogt

Professor Elizabeth Halcomb FACN Sue Hughes FACN Professor Alison Hutton FACN Aaron Jones FACN Professor Brett Mitchell FACN Dr Yvonne Osbourne FACN Dr Frances Peart FACN Professor Jennifer Weller-Newton FACN Professor Odette Best FACN Professor Karen Clark-Burg MACN Dr Belinda Chaplin MACN Julieann Domanski MACN Beaudan Dupen MACN Benjamin Fox MACN Kaarin Goeldner MACN Jannette Gogler MACN Melissa Hozjan MACN Andrew Ingersoll MACN Dr Samantha Jackimowicz MACN Rebecca Jedwab MACN

Michael Collins

Year in Review 2020-2021


AN OPEN LETTER TO ALL VICTORIAN NURSES AND MIDWIVES It has been an incredibly challenging year for nurses. And it continues, as Australia and the world battles COVID-19. Here, at the peak of the pandemic nurses and midwives amid Victoria’s second wave worked around the clock, fatigued but never stopping, selflessly caring for infected community members in the face of abuse, violence, bureaucracy and relentless pressure. In August 2020, ACN CEO Adjunct Professor Kylie Ward FACN wrote an open letter to recognise Victorian nurses and midwives for their dedication, compassion and grit in the face of unimaginable difficulty. In it, she acknowledged the immense physical and psychological stress nurses were fighting, the challenging working conditions riddled with lack of PPE and bureaucracy and the ostracisation they were encountering due to being COVID-19 positive or working with COVID-19 patients. Adjunct Professor Ward also assured nurses and midwives in Victoria that ACN would support them in whichever way they needed, encouraged them to look after their health and mental wellbeing and thanked them for all they were doing. The letter received a tremendous response from those within the nursing community and created a media frenzy, thereby highlighting the importance of nurses’ work in keeping Australians safe during these unprecedented times.


Australian College of Nursing

An Open Letter for all Victorian Nurses Dear Colleagues and friends, Firstly, I want to thank every nurse and midwife for your service and sacrifice during these difficult times. Over the past few weeks, I have been contacted by many nurses in Victoria, all working in varying and extreme conditions. The Australian College of Nursing conducted a survey last week to connect with all nurses and hear any concerns; we were overwhelmed with 1500 responses in just 48 hours. Many more concerns and comments continue to stream in daily. Whilst these are being collated to give us a better understanding of the action and advocacy we need to take, I want you to know we hear you, we are here for you, and you are not alone. I want all Australians to know that each of you, as nurses, choose to turn up and deliver care to keep Victorians safe. Throughout our history of war, famine, fire, floods and now a pandemic, nurses have selflessly sacrificed, with nobility and humility. As economies crumble and familiarity fades nurses find courage and conviction to fulfil our professional responsibilities. Right now, there will be a nurse who: • • • • • • • • • • •

Left their children and loved ones to care for yours Puts their own basic needs of hydration and toileting on hold to tend to your relative’s needs Feels the pain and restriction of working 8-12+ hours in PPE Is isolating to keep you safe and waiting for results to go back to work to care Wears the brunt of your frustration and fear when they are spoken to rudely or treated unfairly Contracted the coronavirus because of community contact Wants each person to follow the rules so they do not have to treat you as their patient Is feeling like they cannot do enough, and this will never end Is scared but still turns up Sheds a tear, quietly contemplating how to find the strength to face the next day while providing comfort and reassurance to those whom they are caring for Puts their own health needs as secondary to yours

It is time all Victorians understand what nurses need the community to do – to protect themselves, follow the rules and to keep safe. The Australian College of Nursing stands with all nurses and midwives, either working on the frontline or in management, across the public, private and aged-care sectors. Your work is critical and valued and we appreciate everything you do.


OPEN LETTER TO AUSTRALIA Dear Australia, The Nurses of Australia are thinking of you in this uncertain time, brought about by the unpredictability of COVID‐19; it has been tough for us all. We constantly think about those we tested, cared for, and others we had to say goodbye to. We held your hands, calmed your fears, and told you what we knew. We organised health teams, new systems of care, looked after the elderly and vulnerable, advised government on policy, trained staff, and fought hard to deliver the best care we all deserve. At times, we had to connect with you through plastic visors and full‐length personal protective equipment, but we hope you know how hard we have worked, how hard this has impacted us personally and professionally, but most of all we hope you know how much we care. We have seen first‐hand and heard thousands of stories about how damaging COVID‐19 can be. Many of us are left with unwanted lingering side‐effects of the virus – symptoms we are just now starting to understand. Last year, all we wished for was a vaccine to turbo‐charge our fight and to get back to ‘normal’. And now we have it. Nurses vaccinate to care for you, ourselves, and our loved ones. Who will you vaccinate for? We know many people are worried about the quality of the vaccines available, their potential side‐effects and that no‐ one wants to be first. We understand. It is a scary time. However, we implore you to look at the facts: • • • • •

The Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine was approved for use in Australia on 16 February 2021 following the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) rigorous assessment and approval process. This includes assessment of its safety, quality, and effectiveness The Pfizer/BioNTech COVID‐19 vaccine was approved by the TGA for use in Australia on 25 January 2021, after a rigorous assessment and approval process. The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine has been provisionally approved by the TGAs for individuals 16 years and older As of late May 2021, there have been 4.2 million doses given in Australia, and 493,000 people are fully vaccinated. 15% of the population has had one dose All health workers, airport and quarantine staff are being vaccinated to ensure they can serve the community safely Over 40,000 nurses and midwives have completed COVID Vaccination Training and Nurse Immunisation qualifications in the past six months. We are work‐ready to deliver the vaccines safely to you

We have been there with you from your early childhood and adolescence. We immunised you against rubella and tetanus, mended your broken bones, saw you in emergency, in your homes and your schools, cared for you in intensive care, supported your family member living with a disability, and we have been there with you when you had to say goodbye to your parents. We are here for you during this time as well. With winter now here, we the nursing profession of Australia want you to know that getting vaccinated against COVID‐19 is the best chance you have of protecting you and your loved ones. Take it from us, from your nurses, get your COVID‐19 vaccination as soon as you can. Warmest regards, Adjunct Professor Kylie Ward Chief Executive Officer RN, MMgt, Dip App Sci (Nursing), Acute Care Cert, FACN, FCHSM(Hon), Wharton Fellow, MAICD 3 June 2021

DEAR AUSTRALIA: AN OPEN LETTER TO ALL AUSTRALIANS In June 2021, in another open letter written by Adjunct Professor Ward, this time to all of Australia, ACN called on everyone in the country to do their part and get vaccinated as soon as possible. As part of this campaign, ACN called on the Australian Government to do everything it can to ensure as many Australians as possible receive the COVID-19 vaccine, and to take all available measures to combat vaccine hesitancy in the community. Through the letter, Adjunct Professor Ward urged everyone in Australia to come forward and get vaccinated to show their support in protecting nurses who have been on the frontline of the COVID-19 pandemic since its beginning and have seen its impact firsthand. The letter was widely circulated in both mainstream and social media with close to 84,000 views, and Adjunct Professor Ward and some ACN members were also featured in several interviews on tv, radio and in papers. ACN believes the nursing voice should be front and centre in the vaccine and vaccine-hesitancy discussion, and because Australians deserve to hear expert, person-centred trusted advice from the country’s nurses.

Year in Review 2020-2021


COVID-19 VACCINE TRAINING: LEADING THE WAY ACN was proud to be selected in January 2021 by the Australian Government to lead the preparation of the training material, covering the handling and administration of COVID-19 vaccines. The Government partnered with ACN to develop and deliver free and accredited training modules for individuals involved in the administration of COVID-19 vaccines. The ACN Education Team was pivotal to this project and we were proud to have 124,241 enrolments to the COVID-19 Vaccine Training Program in the first six months.

ACN REFRESHER PROGRAM FOR REGISTERED AND ENROLLED NURSES ACN joined the fight against COVID-19 through supporting nurses with the Refresher Program for Registered (RN) and Enrolled Nurses (EN) in 2020. We collaborated with the Commonwealth Government to provide scholarships for 3,000 RNs to refresh their clinical skills through the Refresher Program. ACN additionally funded 500 ENs to complete the program, which represents an investment of $550,000 to assist the COVID-19 response and to support the profession. Since January 2020, 4,621 RNs and ENs have enrolled into the ACN Refresher Program, thereby creating a workforce that is equipped to support Australia’s fight against the pandemic.


Australian College of Nursing

The COVID-19 training program created by ACN was well structured and contained all the necessary information for nurse immunisers to competently administer the COVID-19 vaccines to the community as well as safely manage the vaccines at the premises. Each day at the vaccination clinic, I was able to provide safe and quality vaccination procedure to the client based on the skills and knowledge required from the training modules and it was a rewarding experience to reassure the client and protect the community. KAZUMA HONDA MACN

WHAT PARTICIPANTS HAD TO SAY ABOUT THE ACN REFRESHER PROGRAM FOR REGISTERED AND ENROLLED NURSES The program helped me feel overall more confident about re-joining the workforce. I found the COVID-19 module particularly relevant and timely. The other modules I appreciated most were cardiac, respiratory and mental health – all critical areas and ones I haven’t specialised in. SARAH FOSTER MACN, ENROLLED NURSE

I have recommended the refresher programme to other ENs and RNs. I found the support by email and via Zoom sessions was wonderful. JANINE ROBSON, ENROLLED NURSE

I could see that a Refresher Program would polish my knowledge and enhance my many years of valuable experience to be better prepared to help in a clinical role if needed.

The COVID-19 virus has developed into a larger social and community issue and I believe that the mental health of people is an enormous priority in our Australian society presently. The module refreshed aspects of understanding mental health issues and knowing how to refer people for help. CHRISTOPHER AITKEN MACN, REGISTERED NURSE


Year in Review 2020-2021



Australian College of Nursing

Advancing the nursing influence Year in Review 2020-2021



urses make up more than half of Australia’s health care workforce. As such, they are crucial to the country’s health and aged care systems. It is, therefore, important that their work be recognised at local, State and Federal levels, that they should be able to work to their full scope of practice, and that our profession be represented in every aspect of health care. To achieve this, ACN strives to create opportunities for our Distinguished Life Fellows, Fellows and Members to engage with the leaders of our country on issues pertinent to nursing, to represent ACN in discussions that help shape future health care policies and to propagate the nursing voice no matter which health setting they work in. We are able to do this through new initiatives such as the Parliamentary Friends of Nursing, our annual Policy Summit as well as opportunities for our membership to represent ACN through the influential State and Territory Chair positions. We would like to thank our members for their support in advancing the nursing influence through their work each and every day and endeavour to continue to advocate for our profession.


Australian College of Nursing

ROYAL COMMISSION INTO AGED CARE QUALITY AND SAFETY As the pre-eminent leader of the nursing profession, ACN advocates for nurses working in every health care sector. As such, it has sought to highlight the work nurses do and the support they need while working in Australia’s aged care sector. The Final Report of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety was tabled on 1 March 2021 and included 148 recommendations to address systemic failures in the aged care system. ACN calls for: • Immediate action to ensure registered nurses, enrolled nurses and unregulated health care workers are enabled to provide safe and culturally responsive care for the older person.

This can be achieved through dynamic staffing based on the skills mix required to meet the acuity, complexity and diversity of needs of the older person, rather than minimum care minutes or staff ratios. • Expansion of evidence-based inhome care to ensure older people are supported and cared for in their own homes for as long as possible, no matter where they live. Nurses play a critical role in hospital and residential care avoidance through expert assessment, health promotion, care planning and ongoing monitoring. • Improved quality and safety of aged care and services where person-centred care and clinical governance are a key focus of aged

care reform. This can be achieved by enabling nursing leadership across all facets of the aged care system, including legislation, regulation, case management and care delivery. These priorities were developed through collaboration with ACN’s Aged Care Solutions Expert Advisory Group comprised of Australia’s leading gerontological nurse specialists through the Aged Care COI. With these and communication with key decisionmakers, ACN is advocating for nurses to be empowered to provide safe, quality and person-centred care to all older Australians, with recognition and parity in pay and conditions to show respect for the essential work of nurses in the aged care sector.

PARLIAMENTARY INQUIRIES ACN CEO Adjunct Professor Kylie Ward FACN gave evidence in February 2021 to the Joint Standing Committee on the Inquiry into Australia’s skilled migration program. Areas addressed were:

• The current system kept up with the nursing workforce

• The key challenges the nursing profession is facing now due to border closures and what could be done to alleviate those challenges

• Adjustments to the skilled migration program in the context of the future of work and pandemic recovery

• Exemptions put in place around critical skills during COVID-19 enabling the labour gaps to be met

• Australia’s international  competitiveness in attracting entrepreneurs, venture capital, start-ups and the best and brightest skilled migrants with cutting edge skills • Challenges in the nursing industry and the barriers to filling workforce shortages with skilled migrants.

• Skills lists in place enabling the right types of nurses to be brought in to fill shortages

Year in Review 2020-2021


ACN POLICY SUMMIT The 2021 ACN Policy Summit took place in Canberra on 19 March in a unique face-to-face and virtual format for the very first time. Given the 2020 ACN Policy Summit couldn’t be held, the energy and excitement in the room this year was palpable as influential nurse leaders and decisionmakers from all over Australia got together for a day-long session of discussions on health policy, issues and strategies. The Summit was themed Post Pandemic – Nursing Policy, Leadership and Influence and featured addresses from ACN President Professor Christine Duffield FACN and CEO Adjunct Professor Kylie Ward FACN, as well as ACT Health Minister Rachel Stephen-Smith, Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer Professor (Practice) Alison McMillan PSM MACN, Former Health Department Secretary


Australian College of Nursing

Glenys Beauchamp PSM and International Council of Nurses CEO Howard Catton, joining virtually from Geneva. ACN’s Policy Chapters and Working Groups were then invited to share their work over the last year, followed by break-out sessions. Over the course of the event, several White Papers, Position Statements and other policy papers were launched, such as the Voluntary Assisted Dying Position Statement by the End of Life Care Policy Chapter, the Diversity and Inclusion Guiding Principles by the ACN Diversity and Inclusion Working Party and The Role of the Nurse in Assessment and Management of Multimorbidity Position Statement by the Chronic Disease Policy Chapter, among others. We would like to thank everyone who attended and participated online and in person to make the Policy Summit this year a huge success.


Year in Review 2020-2021




Australian College of Nursing

Year in Review 2020-2021


PARLIAMENTARY FRIENDS OF NURSING In the past 12 months, the pandemic has highlighted how important the nursing profession is. More than half of all health care workers are nurses and are therefore crucial to our health care system. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has also put the focus on the issues relevant to the profession, just some of which include workforce challenges, problems plaguing our residential aged care facilities, and the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability, which will also have implications for the nursing workforce. These issues have created an urgent need for our profession to engage with parliamentarians and vice versa. In response to this need, in June 2021 ACN launched the Parliamentary Friends of Nursing, a forum open to all Senators and Members for bipartisan discussion on


Australian College of Nursing

matters relating to the nursing profession and engagement in policy in relation to the health and aged care system reforms. The initiative gave our membership the opportunity to engage and work with the leaders of our country and our communities, to have a say in improving our health care system. The inaugural event welcomed Ged Kearney MP, Federal Member of Parliament for Cooper and Dr Anne Webster MP, Federal Member for Mallee, as co-chairs. Guests at the event included dignitaries and high-profile leaders such as Senator the Hon Richard Colbeck – Minister for Senior Australians and Aged Care Services | Minister for Sport | Liberal Senator for Tasmania; Susan Templeman MP, Federal Member for Macquarie; Dr Mike Freelander MP, Federal Member for Macarthur; Kate Thwaites MP, Federal Member for Calwell; Dr Daniel Mulino MP,

Federal Member for Fraser; David Smith MP, Federal Member for Canberra; Peta Murphy MP, Federal Member for Dunkley and Senator Jess Walsh, Senator for Victoria. Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer Professor (Practice) Alison McMillan PSM MACN and ACN President Professor Christine Duffield FACN were also present. We were delighted to invite ACN’s Distinguished Life Fellows, Fellows and Members to this take this pivotal opportunity to meet with key political leaders of Australia and ignite crucial discussions about important nursing issues such as reform to Medicare, scope of practice changes to help nurses in remote communities and solutions to support frontline nurses.

Year in Review 2020-2021




Australian College of Nursing

Year in Review 2020-2021


STATE CHAIRS ACN’s Member-led Networks allow you to connect with Distinguished Life Fellows (DLF), Fellows and Members in each State and Territory, together forming ACN’s Regions. Each Network is headed by


a State Chair, who represents the ACN CEO at external meetings and liaises with political leaders and other stakeholders. ACN’s State Chairs are a significant part of extending the nursing influence where

it counts, and we thank our DLFs, Fellows and Members who have volunteered their time and expertise in making this possible.







Australian College of Nursing



The confines of a pandemic lockdown offered opportunities to seize the moment, to learn and grow from this experience. It entailed thinking outside the square and looking for avenues to meaningfully engage members in a virtual environment. Representing ACN in the media stressed the importance of being calm and in control when challenged by seasoned journalists! Advocating for nurses in meetings with the Acting Chief Nursing & Midwifery Officer highlighted why it’s vital to be well informed and prepared. Connecting in person with members in early 2021 resonated the importance of being present, listening, and as a leader, acknowledging those small moments of joy. DR JENNIFER WELLER-NEWTON FACN, STATE CHAIR VIC

Having the very great privilege of being the Queensland State Chair during such a challenging year has been a matter of pride and has filled me with optimism for the future of the nursing profession. We have seen nurses stand to the challenge brought on by COVID-19 and provide leadership to the community with Queenslanders providing much needed support and reassurance in supporting our vaccine rollout through to supporting our national and international colleagues with webinars. All of this has been achieved despite the very real personal challenges that every nurse faces as members of their communities that have spent many months in lockdown.

The NSW Chapter has had a busy year between July 2020 and June 2021. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, we changed plans for our education evenings, transitioning to online delivery. Wellbeing for nurses featured heavily due to ongoing demand and feedback from across Australia, featuring over seven weeks of content. In 2021, we responded to nominated interests from our Emerging Nurse Leaders, planning events around topics such as digital health, workplace culture and alternative career pathways including research, clinical trials, community and military nursing. In March, we travelled to Nowra to host a face-toface meeting, whilst offering online access via Zoom, which continues to be well received and provides wider access to the ACN membership. In June, we hosted an event in Newcastle and we will continue our endeavours to be inclusive of nonmetro areas for events and education. None of this would be possible without the assistance of the Deputy Chair Dr Samantha Jakimowicz MACN and Communications Coordinator Kate Saw MACN (Undergraduate). ROBYN QUINN FACN, STATE CHAIR NSW


Year in Review 2020-2021












Central & Far West





Australian College of Nursing

REGION LEADERSHIP TEAMS Australian Capital Territory

New South Wales – Central & Far West

CHAIR Chrysta Bridge MACN

CHAIR Jennifer Manning MACN

DEPUTY CHAIR Shannon Narracott MACN






New South Wales – Murrumbidgee

CHAIR Amanda Moses MACN

New South Wales – Sydney

CHAIR Robyn Quinn FACN

DEPUTY CHAIR Dr Samantha Jakimowicz MACN


Year in Review 2020-2021


Northern Territory – Central

Queensland – Brisbane

Queensland – Darling Downs


CHAIR Chris O’Donnell FACN

CHAIR Carolyn Bourke MACN



DEPUTY CHAIR Jillian Richardson MACN





Northern Territory – North




Queensland – Central SECRETARIAT SUPPORT Laura Keldoulis MACN

Queensland – North West


DEPUTY CHAIR Lilian Wingaards MACN


Australian College of Nursing

South Australia


Victoria – Geelong

CHAIR Moira Noonan MACN

CHAIR Nancy Arnold FACN

CHAIR Edwina Eaton MACN








Year in Review 2020-2021


Victoria – Goulburn & Murray

Western Australia

CHAIR Dianna Burr FACN

CHAIR Dr Jennifer-Weller Newton FACN

CHAIR Anthony Dolan MACN









Victoria – Melbourne

Australian College of Nursing


REGIONS IN FOCUS New South Wales-Sydney


Following the overwhelming response to their Wellbeing in the Context of Chaos support sessions earlier in 2020, the Sydney Region ‘resumed normal programming’ with a strong series of webinars.

The Tasmanian Region continues to see strong member growth and engagement. Recent webinars include Mental Health Service Reform in Tasmania, and Sharing the Care – Taking Chemotherapy into the Community.

• SEED: An award winning, strength based, peer support training, mentoring and mental health and wellbeing initiative, SEED is an Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District initiative to support staff after the bushfires. SEED is a National Health and Medical Research Council funded recovery resilience model.

The Region also delivered a special COVID-19 themed webinar, COVID-19: Effects on Acute & Public Health Sectors in Tasmania, which discussed the impact of a global pandemic on local services and explore how practice has changed what we need to be aware of for future public health crises.

• Digital Age of Nursing: Shannon Wallis MACN, winner of the 2020 Health Minister’s Award for Nursing Trailblazers, shared her journey to innovation, the challenges and successes of practitioners and patients in adapting to digital health technologies and how nurses can engage in this exciting mode of health delivery. The Region also delivered a special COVID-19-themed two-part, two-hour webinar. In part one, Dr Diana Wong MACN, Royal Australian Navy (Reserve), presented Nursing Resilience during COVID. In part two, Dr Samantha Jakimowicz MACN, Sydney Region Deputy Chair, presented Uncertainty: Fears, Frustrations and Magic moments.

The Region has recommenced holding physical networking and CPD events in line with government advice.

Victoria-Melbourne Unsurprisingly, the Melbourne Region had a particularly challenging 2020-2021. As lockdowns pushed the Region to deliver content virtually, the Leadership Team displayed remarkable resilience as they continued to support both members and non-members. The Region’s activities included the following webinars: • Nurses’ Experiences as First Responders: This event gave an understanding of the role of a nurse as a first responder within a disaster

context, and identified attributes and strategies of first responders that can be applied to a clinical context. • Vaccine Hesitancy and the COVID-19 Vaccines: Arguably their most popular webinar in 2021 to date, this event heard from three highly regarded speakers on how to support nurses in understanding the efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines, the impact of immunisation on community health and reducing spread of COVID, as well as managing vaccine hesitancy. • Dealing with Grief and Loss Across the Lifespan: This event talked about providing support to nurses caring for families dealing with grief and loss of loved ones, from reproductive loss to end of life care. The event also touched on how nurses can better deal with their own grief associated with losing patients/clients. • The Annual Gertrude Berger Oration and Symposium: The theme for 2020 was: The Sustainable Development Goals: How Can Nurses Make a Difference? In recognition of the huge commitment Victorian nurses made to the community, the Region organised a number of virtual art therapy and virtual cheese and wine tastings in December to help celebrate the end of the year.

Year in Review 2020-2021


REPRESENTATION As the pre-eminent leader of the nursing profession, ACN is proud to be able to provide opportunities to its Fellows and Members to have a say in health care policy making. Members of ACN can participate in a variety of roundtable discussions, committees, government and nongovernment working groups, workshops and other events, to represent the nursing voice and help shape future health care policies along with external stakeholders and decisionmakers. We thank our nurse leaders who have been representing ACN and lending their experience and expertise to vital professional issues that affect our profession and the wider health care system in Australia.

Nancy Arnold FACN Guidelines for the ‘Administration of certain substances by aged-care workers in residential aged care facilitites’ Christine Ashely FACN Healthy Living Strategy John Brown FACN Men’s Health Connected online conference | Kate Renzenbrink MACN | Agency Partner Insights Review Marilyn Cruickshank FACN National Clinical Taskforce Adjunct Professor Naomi Dobroff FACN Advisory Committee to the Digital Health Capability Framework for the Nursing and Midwifery Workforce Program | My Health Record Steering Committee | Digital Health Forums | Agency Partner Insights Review Christopher O’Donnell FACN Nurse Practitioner Ministerial Advisory Group | National COVID-19 Clinical Evidence Taskforce | Clinical Advisory Committee | Nurse Practitioner Advisory Group


Australian College of Nursing

Drew Dwyer FACN Enrolled Nursing Industry Reference Committee Dr Elizabeth Jane Halcomb FACN Data Asset Steering Committee Professor Alison Hutton FACN Nursing and Midwifery Conference Newcastle | Survey about disaster nursing research priorities Heather Keighley FACN National Rural Health Alliance Aaron Jones FACN National Nursing and Midwifery Digital Health Capability Online Educational Resource Steering Committee Yvonne Mckinlay FACN ITECA New South Wales Committee Professor Sandy Middleton FACN Academic Clinical Pathways Working Group Professor Brett Mitchell FACN National COVID-19 Clinical Evidence Taskforce – Severe Clinical Working Group

Associate Professor Virginia Plummer FACN Stakeholder Advisory Committee Dale Pugh FACN National Sepsis Clinical Reference Group Adjunct Professor Chris Raftery FACN National COVID-19 Clinical Evidence Taskforce – Moderate Clinical Working Group | Nurse Practitioner Ministerial Advisory Group Adjunct Professor Greg Rickard FACN Chair – Nursing and Midwifery Council of NSW Christine Smith FACN (DLF) Healthy Living Strategy Robyn Quinn FACN Pain management health practitioner education strategy stakeholder consultation workshop | Health Professional Bank Advisory Committee | Consultation – draft Low Back Pain Clinical Care Standard | Australian Council of Healthcare Standards | SHPA Opoid Think Tank 2020 Distinguished Professor Patsy Yates FACN National Cancer Plan

Dr Helen Almond MACN National Nursing and Midwifery Digital Health Capability Online Educational Resource Steering Committee Deborah Booth MACN Advisory Group – Review of the Restraint Principles Jo Bowden MACN Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum (APEC) Caroline Browne MACN 2021 INACSL Standards Advisory Council Hazel Bucher MACN Guidelines for the ‘Administration of certain substances by aged-care workers in residential aged care facilities’ Marina Buchanan-Grey MACN National COVID-19 Clinical Evidence Taskforce Judith Bulten MACN Stakeholder Advisory Committee Louise Botha MACN Professional Colleges Advisory Committee

Dr Jane Desborough MACN Data Asset Steering Committee Susan Emerson MACN Consultation Forum – Review of the Restraints Principles Veronika Garrett MACN Agency’s Aged Care Advisory Group | MyHealth Record in Community and Primary health care webinar Samara Geering MACN Wiser Wound Care Centre of Research Excellence Expert Advisory Group Michelle Girdler MACN SA Health Practitioners Tribunal Marise Goddard-Jones MACN Primary Care Committee Janette Gogler MACN Child health record standards | ST Panel Julie Hanson MACN Guidance Writing Group for Clinical Trials in Cannabinoids Nichole Harwood MACN Clinical Advisory Committee

Year in Review 2020-2021


REPRESENTATION (CONTINUED) Liam Jackson MACN National COVID-19 Clinical Evidence Taskforce – Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) guideline Nikki Johnston MACN Nurse Practitioner Ministerial Advisory Group Anna Jones MACN SA Health Practitioners Tribunal Alicia Kendall MACN National COVID-19 Clinical Evidence Taskforce – Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) guideline

Dr Fiona Newall MACN Pathology Clinical Indicators Review Jane Pappin MACN Healthcare Management Industry Advisory Board Kate Partington MACN Primary Care Committee

Catherine Keyte MACN National COVID-19 Clinical Evidence Taskforce – Paediatric panel

Basil Paulose MACN WA Health Minister’s Meeting: Demand and Management

Christine Mackey MACN Patient Blood Management Advisory Committee

Associate Professor Violet Platt MACN Intercollegiate Advisory Group – Replacement Representative

Nigel McGothigan MACN Focus group: End of Life Law for Clinicians Training Program

Kate Renzenbrink MACN Victoria’s My Health Record Planning Group

Emma Metcalfe-Nash MACN Western Australia Therapeutics Advisory Group


Lavanya Naidoo MACN National Assessment Framework and Operational Arrangements for Mobile Health (mHealth) Applications | MyHealth Record in Community and Primary health Care webinar

Australian College of Nursing

Dr Bernice Redley MACN National Nursing and Midwifery Digital Health Capability Online Educational Resource Steering Committee

Simon Ross MACN National COVID-19 Clinical Evidence Taskforce – Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) guideline Susannah Slykerman MACN Consultation Forum – Review of the Restraints Principles Helen Sinnott MACN Victoria’s My Health Record Planning Group Vanessa Stalley-Gordon MACN SA Health Practitioners Tribunal Jo Southern MACN Review of the shared Code of Conduct – Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia | Australian Ethical Health Alliance Steering Committee | Focus group: End of Life Law for Clinicians Training Program Gaynor Stevenson MACN National Nursing and Midwifery Digital Health Capability Online Educational Resource Steering Committee Melissa Taylor MACN Australian ticks and tick-borne diseases and debilitating symptom complexes attributed to ticks (DSCATT)

Arun Thomas MACN Dementia Centre for Research Collaboration (DCRC) – Advisory Committee Glynis Thorp MACN Small Rural Hospitals Working Group Julie Tucker MACN SA Health Practitioners Tribunal Emma Versluis MACN Classifications Clinical Advisory Group (CCAG)

I have been reading about representation opportunities for some time and when this one came up, realised I may have valuable insights and at this stage of my career, I was also keen on giving back to the profession. I also completed the ACN Representation Module, which was particularly helpful in navigating this opportunity. One of my takeaways was just how much input ACN has into policies and their position statements. GLYNIS THORP MACN, CURRENTLY REPRESENTS ACN ON THE SMALL RURAL HOSPITALS WORKING GROUP THROUGH THE INDEPENDENT HOSPITALS PRICING AUTHORITY

Selina Ward MACN National COVID-19 Clinical Evidence Taskforce – Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) guideline Julie White MACN Primary Care Committee

Year in Review 2020-2021


BEHIND THE SCENES WITH THE CEO A candid tête-à-tête with Australian College of Nursing (ACN) CEO Adjunct Professor Kylie Ward FACN on leading ACN and the nursing profession during the pandemic. How different has it been leading ACN and the profession these last 12 months? It’s been incredibly challenging, both professionally and personally. On one hand, I had to try hard to take some time to rest and recover after my second surgery last year. At the same time, Melbourne went into its second lockdown and I was receiving numerous calls from people who wanted to talk to me about the issues nurses in Victoria were facing. Balancing the two priorities was quite difficult, but it was a reminder for me that to give your best, you must be at your best first. Can you tell us what was happening behind the scenes at the time? I was getting numerous phone calls and messages from nurses who were coping with professional issues during the second wave in Victoria. I remember one particular day when I was on the phone for 12 hours straight. Hearing from nurses about the lack of Personal Protection Equipment, access to educational resources, being furloughed and not able to be cleared, etc., we decided there was a need to document and formalise this information in some way, as nurses kept telling me they didn’t feel listened to. So, we decided to launch the COVID-19 Disclosure Portal. I also decided to write the open letter to Victorian nurses to let them know we were listening and were taking action.


Australian College of Nursing

It was a high-pressure time, and I was still on bedrest, but I couldn’t rest and heal knowing nurses were struggling. I don’t think there is anything worse for a nursing leader than feeling helpless, so I took action. The letter, when released, caused a media frenzy. I still remember that we approached one of the newspapers to put the letter out as an advertisement, but they couldn’t due to lack of space. As it turned out, once the letter had been picked up by television channels and radio stations, the same newspaper approached us to ask if they could feature us! That was an important moment in making history, as nursing professional concerns dominated media in every format over that weekend. It was an honour to be able to advocate for nurses because they shouldn’t have been in a position where they didn’t have access to what they needed. In my role as the ACN CEO, I have built strong relationships with the Federal and State governments that are highly important to continue to advance the nursing profession. These relationships and many conversations in hours and after hours were needed as COVID unfolded, to secure scholarships and education for nurses, and to make sure every political leader understood how pivotal nurses would be to maintaining the wellbeing of the nation. I continued to do what I always do to position the nursing profession to get the respect we need and deserve, and to position ACN as a leader in every aspect. I was also heavily involved in making sure that our workforce at ACN was being

looked after in terms of job security and a safe workplace during the pandemic. We were navigating uncertainty on so many levels and knowing the ACN staff were well cared for and could work flexibly with their family and personal needs was paramount. They have been the backbone of all that we have been able to offer to the profession and achieve as a result. Tell us about the defining moments in your leadership journey this past year. Following my interview with Channel 9 one Saturday morning in which I asked Premier Daniel Andrews to speak to me, I was contacted by Terry Symonds, Deputy Secretary of the Health and Wellbeing Division (DHHS). During our conversation, I asked him to guarantee that the government would take action to ensure nurses’ safety as I had Channel 7 coming in an hour for another interview. I was able to secure this guarantee, and that call led to fortnightly meetings between ACN representatives and Victorian government advisory groups to table the issues and work through them. Terry was an excellent listener and worked closely with us to get resolution, as did the Victorian CNMO. Even though we have been faced with unfamiliar and challenging times and discussions, I always aim to have someone in key meetings with me. This may be an ACN staff member, and often I contacted our valued ACN Fellows, mostly Chairs, to accompany me. No matter what pressure we are under there is always a learning opportunity. I never had the opportunity to

CEO SLEEPOUT shadow a CEO myself or be in discussions with politicians or Department leaders before I became a CEO, so it became important to me that others have these opportunities. And I have seen the past year as a great opportunity for this, both with government and with media opportunities to expand the nursing voice and reach. I strongly encourage our Fellows and Members to lead conversations, some critical, others difficult. I know what courage is required for these and I have invested many hours supporting and coaching people in the background, so they could step forward and shine. Our profession is in the global spotlight and it is important that we represent nursing skilfully and professionally. Another highlight from last year would have to be the NurseStrong initiative. I know how hard nurses work and my goal has always been to enable them to be empowered. It’s been so rewarding for me to see NurseStrong evolve the way it has, into a nurturing and healing space for our profession. As a leader, what are some professional challenges you face/have faced? We were supposed to celebrate 2020 as Year of the Nurse and the Midwife, and although it put our profession in the public eye, the challenge now is to maintain the momentum and keep the pressure on, in terms of getting nurses visibility, respect and representation. If there is a seat at the table, I want to see a nurse there. The other side of that challenge is supporting nurses

to use that representation opportunity skilfully to get the message across when they are in that seat. I know much gratitude has been given to nurses and all health care workers during this pandemic, and I acknowledge and appreciate that. But for me it is not enough and can so easily be forgotten when this is over. What I am committed to is systemic change in attitudes, funding models, service delivery, pay disparity and entitlements. When equity is achieved here, I will feel we have achieved true recognition, and until then I will continue to fight for our rights. What have your guiding principles been in your leadership journey? I think the first would be ‘Everything I do is for a purpose’. I am a woman of integrity and principle. I never want to be romanced by the power of the upper echelons; I always want to represent people, especially those who don’t have a voice or the confidence to speak out. The other is ‘Dare to be different’. It is so easy to run with the pack but as I have evolved as a leader, I have understood that having the courage to be different means I have the courage to be authentic and take the profession to places we did not think of earlier.

Nurses are often the first point of contact in health care for members of communities in Australia. As such, they are closely connected to the issue of social justice. Among those that they care for every day are Australians experiencing homelessness. On behalf of all nurses, clinicians and health care professionals, ACN CEO Adjunct Professor Kylie Ward FACN participates in the Vinnies CEO Sleepout every year. CEOs from all over the country participate in the one-night event to sleep outdoors to raise awareness for and support those who experience homelessness.

I’m a CEO but I’m doing this for every nurse that provides care in every part of the country who might not be able to sleep out tonight. Thank you for the support. Thank you for all that you do for all the vulnerable, marginalised and disadvantaged communities you look after. ADJUNCT PROFESSOR KYLIE WARD FACN

Of course, I have had to face resistance and criticism along the way, but through the great success we have through diversity and inclusion, I know I am doing the right thing.

Year in Review 2020-2021


MAKING THE NURSING VOICE HEARD A vital part of advancing the nursing influence is engaging with the political leaders of our country and being media visible. During the past 12 months, Australian College of Nursing (ACN) CEO Adjunct Professor Kylie Ward FACN, along with ACN Fellows and Members, has represented our profession in key discussions at local, State and Federal levels as well as in the media to reach the wider community. By doing so, they have constantly raised the profile of the nursing profession, the vital work nurses have been doing through the pandemic and before, and the issues that our workforce is facing. Just a few of these include the challenges faced by nurses in national vaccination rollout, access to MBS item numbers for Nurse Practitioners, nurses in aged care facing liability insurance issues, violence against nurses and setting up mass vaccination sites as nurse-led models. This has, in turn, created important discussions around these issues, paving the way for solutions to better support nurses and empower them to practice to their full scope, in safer workplaces. Through media visibility we have also been successful in calling attention to our key initiatives such as the Health Minister’s Award for Nursing Trailblazers, the Vivian Bullwinkel Project and the ACN National Nurses Breakfast on International Nurses Day (IND).


Australian College of Nursing

Adjunct Professor Kylie Ward FACN with Chris O'Donnell FACN and representatives from the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation, Australian Primary Health Care Nurses Association, CRANAplus and the Australian College of Nurse Practitioners, meeting with the Minister for Health & Aged Care, the Hon Greg Hunt MP to discuss access to MBS item numbers for Nurse Practitioners

Highlights ABC Radio: Adjunct Professor Ward talked about the rollout of the COVID-19 mass vaccination campaign, advocating for nurses to be at centre of this program. Nurses have been willing to support the rollout through their own education and upskilling to deliver immunisation as required, but State and Federal Governments need to come on board with the systems to allow them to do so. ACN is continuing to advocate through media, meetings with members of Parliament and informal discussions to fight for the practice rights of nurses across the country.

Channel 7: On learning that Guild Insurance was considering withdrawing coverage to the COVID vaccination workforce, Adjunct Professor Ward, on behalf of ACN, drew publicity to this key issue, as it is not just an issue of security for nurses helping in the national rollout effort, but also for the ongoing maintenance of the COVID vaccine rollout program. This media appearance saw Guild Insurance work to better communicate with its members and shift their own policies. Canberra Times: As part of honouring those who came before us, ACN is currently fundraising for a sculpture of Lieutenant

Adjunct Professor Ward with Sydney Region Leadership Team members Dr Samantha Jakimowicz MACN, Kate Saw MACN (Undergraduate) and Robyn Quinn FACN at Shadow Minister Mark Butler MP’s budget lunch in June in Sydney

Adjunct Professor Ward with ACT Minister for Health Rachel Stephen-Smith at a special ACN Breakfast event prior to International Nurses Day

To promote the Australian College of Nursing (ACN) Foundation

Colonel Vivian Bullwinkel at the Australian War Memorial. The Defence Nursing Community, led by Head of Defence Force Nursing Lieutenant Colonel Serena Lawlor MACN, supported this effort by organising fundraising through a group running at the Canberra Marathon in April 2021. ACN worked to get the coverage of LTCOL Lawlor’s efforts on the front page of the Canberra Times, and this saw a spike in her fundraising campaign, raising almost $7,000, as well as drawing significant attention to the Bullwinkel Project.

an important one, and ACN advocated for nurses to be able to fully deliver vaccines as part of the rollout program.

Studio 10 interview at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Sydney. IND every year presents an opportunity for ACN to raise the nursing profile, and this year was no different.

Round table with Prime Minister Scott Morrison MP: Adjunct Professor Ward was invited as part of the Prime Minister’s Round Table with health care leaders in March 2021. The opportunity to brief the PM and the Minister for Health Greg Hunt MP on the key challenges facing the profession in supporting the COVID-19 rollout was

Meeting with Health Minister Greg Hunt MP about MBS items: Advancing the profession takes many forms, and an alliance of nursing organisations met with the Health Minister to discuss the access to the Medicare Benefits Scheme (MBS) for Nurse Practitioners (NP). The MBS Review in 2020 saw the nursing profession continue to be shut out from accessing the system, despite the impact that nurses can have in supporting primary care, especially in regional and remote settings. ACN will continue to advocate for NPs getting access to work at their full scope of practice to best support the community.

Channel 7: In June this year, Adjunct Professor Ward drew attention to ACN’s recent Dear Australia campaign, calling on all those in Australia to get vaccinated and on the Australian Government to take all available measures to combat vaccine hesitancy in the community. ABC News: Victorian State Chair Dr Jennifer Weller-Newton FACN highlighted the issues for Victoria’s nurses during the second wave of COVID-19 in 2020, such as getting the right Personal Protection Equipment to nurses.

Studio 10: On IND this year, Adjunct Professor Ward was featured on a televised

Year in Review 2020-2021


Adjunct Professor Ward with nurses at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Sydney Local Health District and students from UTS Health for an interview with Studio 10 on International Nurses Day

Adjunct Professor Ward featured on Prime 7 to discuss the Dear Australia campaign

Victoria State Chair Dr Jennifer Weller-Newton FACN on ABC News during the Victorian lockdown in 2020

Adjunct Professor Ward on ABC 7.30 Report to talk about the national immunisation rollout


Australian College of Nursing

Adjunct Professor Ward talks about the Open Letter to Victorian nurses during the Victorian lockdown in 2020

Adjunct Professor Ward meeting Prime Minister Scott Morrison MP, Minister for Health Greg Hunt MP and other high-level dignitaries and health professionals

Adjunct Professor Ward and ACN Member Lucy Osborn MACN on The Today Show in 2020 discussing the Open Letter to Victorian Nurses campaign and calling for more PPE

ACN in the media • More than 1300 online pieces • More than 600 TV pieces • More than 600 radio pieces • Over 75 print pieces • Cumulative potential audience of over 60 million • 33 media releases Adjunct Professor Ward on Channel 7 to talk about Registered Nurses and Nurse Practitioners’ rights to professional indemnity insurance Year in Review 2020-2021



Australian College of Nursing

Raising the nursing profile Year in Review 2020-2021



t some point in their lifespan, every person in Australia has consulted a nurse, for themselves or for a loved one. Nurses are often the first point of contact for someone seeking health care.

Although the COVID-19 pandemic put our profession in the global spotlight, nurses have always been there for our communities. They have always demonstrated exceptional resilience, hard work, compassion and unmatched expertise in what they do. At the Australian College of Nursing (ACN), we believe in honouring nurses’ contribution to the health and wellbeing of our communities, whether it’s through research, clinical work, policy or education. Our members are recognised through ACN’s prestigious Fellowships and the Health Minister’s Award for Nursing Trailblazers. Through events such as the ACN National Nurses Breakfast on International Nurses Day and Nursing in the Community Week, we endeavour to celebrate them and call attention to their work in the wider community. The Australian College of Nursing (ACN) Foundation’s Vivian Bullwinkel Project is yet another way in which ACN strives to raise the nursing profile by informing those within the profession and the general public about the heroic, selfless and pioneering nurses that have come before us and paved the way for us to succeed in what we do. As our profession continues to flourish and excel, ACN will stay committed to raising the status of nurses across Australia and recognising the exceptional contribution every nurse makes to our health and aged care systems.


Australian College of Nursing

FELLOWSHIPS Fellowship of the Australian College of Nursing is a prestigious member status awarded to our members in recognition of significant professional achievement. It recognises their experience and acknowledges that their contribution to the organisation as well as the profession plays a key role in raising the nursing profile. We congratulate our Fellows for the year 2020–2021.

Anita Bamford-Wade FACN • Has inspired nurses and midwives with an inclusive, capacity-building leadership approach • Spearheaded a successful application for the Gold Coast Hospital and Health Service to achieve Magnet Recognition in 2020 • Is a research champion for nurses and health professionals

Alison Belcastro-Tortell FACN • Has been part of ACN’s COVID-19 Workforce Solutions in Primary Expert Advisory Group • Represented ACN nationally and internationally • Renowned champion for primary health in Australia

Year in Review 2020-2021


Wing Commander (Retd) Sharon Bown FACN

Karen Dansey FACN (Hon)

• Returned to duty despite serious, disabling injuries to lead a critical care team in the war in Afghanistan

• Was the Editorial Assistant of Collegian for nearly 15 years and has written for several ACN publications

• Helped to realign the Nursing Officer career structure to enhance recruitment, retention and clinical practice of Air Force nurses

• Has led ACN’s ISO 9001:2015 quality management certification and has written numerous operational policies and procedures

• Provides reliable advice to Government to shape health care that recognises veterans’ unique capabilities

• Has been committed to the continuing preservation of nursing history by managing ACN’s archives and historical collections

Dr Caleb Ferguson FACN

Neil Haynes FACN (Hon)

• Holds a National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Investigator Grant

• Has led ACN for seven years in diversifying income and expanding services for members

• Is one of six nurses recognised as Fellows of the Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand

• Pivotal in establishing the ACN Foundation

• Has been awarded $1.7 million in research funding including grants from the Heart Foundation, Stroke Foundation and NHMRC


Australian College of Nursing

• Played a key role in supporting the education of nurses in the Pacific Region

Suzie Hoitink FACN

Aaron Jones FACN

• Recipient of Telstra Business Women’s Award

• First Chief Nursing and Midwifery Information Officer (CNIO) in NSW

• Co-founded a National Working Party that developed Australia’s first draft of the Professional Practice Standards and Scope of Practice for Aesthetic Nursing Practice in Australia • Contributed to the development and review of the content for ACN’s Graduate Certificate in Cosmetic Nursing

Chris O’Donnell FACN • A strong and internationally known advocate of Advanced Practice • Current State Chair for Queensland and Chair of the Advanced Practice COI • Led the development, implementation and evaluation of the Nurse Navigator role, an initiative that has gained global attention

• Established and is the Chair of ACN’s CNIO Community of Interest (COI) • Represented ACN in the development of the National Nursing and Midwifery Digital Health Capability Framework

Adjunct Professor Chris Raftery FACN • Deputy Chair of the Queensland Clinical Senate • Deputy Chair of the ACN Advanced Practice COI • Leading the development of Advanced Practice nursing and the role of the Nurse Practitioner at local, state and national levels

Year in Review 2020-2021


POLICY CHAPTERS ACN’s Policy Chapters work under the expert leadership and guidance of our highly regarded Chairs and Deputy Chairs. Each Chapter focuses on a specific issue and draws on the specialised skills and expertise of members of ACN and external stakeholders to work with and influence government and policy makers. At the 2021 Policy Summit in Canberra in March this year, the Chapters presented their work over the last year and shared their roadmap for the coming months.

Workforce Sustainability Policy Chapter

CHAIR: Adjunct Professor Alanna Geary FACN

CHAIR: Distinguished Professor Patsy Yates FACN

DEPUTY CHAIR: Dr Craig Phillips MACN

DEPUTY CHAIR: Associate Professor Melissa Bloomer FACN

The Chapter is working on a policy paper to inform practice recommendations pertaining to skill set requirements of nursing staff and best practice guidelines for health workforce in aged care, disability and community ambulatory care settings. This follows an examination of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety Final Report, including the need to examine, understand and unify frameworks that inform the delegation, authority and accountability of nurses of all educational levels who are currently engaged in community practice settings. The Chapter will undertake a review of these frameworks which include current legislation, Nursing and Midwifery Boards of Australia standards, state and territory policies.


Australian College of Nursing

End of Life Policy Chapter

The Chapter worked on the impact of the pandemic on people who were dying of COVID-19. This included observations about people who were dying in isolation, who weren’t able to interact with their families, issues around how different symptom experiences at end of life were not well understood, how those can be managed and how nursing can contribute to these issues. The Chapter was supported by nurses who shared their experiences working in this area. They developed a Position Statement outlining these issues, and also included statements about supporting the nursing workforce coping with end of life patients during the pandemic. Going forward, the Chapter will look at the Aged Care Royal Commission Final Report in relation to end of life care in aged care including palliative care.

Chronic Disease Policy Chapter

Emissions Reduction Policy Chapter

Ageing Policy Chapter

CHAIR: Lisa Whitehead MACN

CHAIR: Dr Frances Peart FACN

CHAIR: Professor Deborah Parker MACN



DEPUTY CHAIR: Professor Trisha Dunning AM FACN (DLF)

The Chapter is focusing on the impact of COVID-19 on the nursing management of chronic disease and multimorbidity. The work includes collating the best available evidence on the impact of COVID-19 on preventive care, mortality and impact on specific population groups. The Chapter is also collecting primary data from nurses on how the COVID-19 pandemic impacted routine care and the outcomes, including innovative nurse-led initiatives.

The Chapter released the ACN Emissions Reduction Charter in 2020 calling on all governments, organisations and Australian nurses to prioritise emissions reduction as a requirement for health sector practice, and support inclusion of environmental considerations across health care policies.

The Chapter has worked on a Position Statement The role of nurses in supporting older people to access quality, safe aged care and a Scoping Review that looks at the quality indicators in residential aged care. The work for the Position Statement was set in the context of the Royal Commission into Aged Care and Quality and Safety. Although the Chapter will not continue in its current form for 2021, it is currently finishing an environmental scan and literature review on quality standards in aged care. However, members from the Chapter will support the newly formed Aged Care Solutions Expert Advisory Group that will support ACN in responding to the 148 recommendations made by the report of the Royal Commission.

Year in Review 2020-2021


POLICY PUBLICATIONS Members of ACN’s Policy team, Policy Chapters, Working Groups, Community of Interests and Regions collectively contribute to and influence policy development through a variety of documents including position statements, white papers and toolkits. They often develop evidence-based articles for publication and inclusion in peer-reviewed journals, highlighting contemporary and emerging issues in health and nursing.

White Papers Value-Based Health Care through Nursing Leadership This White Paper outlines how Australian, State and Territory governments can enable nursing services to address issues which impact on access, equity and the financial sustainability of the health and aged care systems in Australia. To achieve this, ACN recommends complementing traditional health funding models with new outcomebased funding models and other variants including access to Medicare item numbers for nurses.

Value-Based Health Care through Nursing Leadership A WHITE PAPER BY ACN 2020

Reimagining the Community and Primary Health Care Setting ACN proposes a system redesign in community and primary health care (C&PHC) nursing to ensure a sustainable health care system for all Australians into the future. This white paper outlines the existing roles and responsibilities of C&PHC nurses, the current enablers and barriers to a more holistic, integrated, person-centred and value-based primary health care system, and provides key recommendations around the future of C&PHC nursing.


Australian College of Nursing

Advancing nurse leadership

1800 061 660

Position Statements The role of nurses in supporting older people to access quality, safe aged care

Voluntary Assisted Dying

ACN is committed to advancing nurse leadership in the design, governance and provision of high-quality, personcentred and professional aged care. Nurses are best placed to provide older people the high-quality and safe health care they deserve regardless of their care environment, while respecting their rights to dignity and autonomy in determining care pathways and outcomes that reflect their values and needs.

ACN acknowledges the significance of Voluntary Assisted Dying (VAD) and the importance of access to palliative care for all who need it. Every person should have choice in access to services such as specialist palliative care. ACN emphasises that VAD is not a part of palliative care, nor are the two mutually exclusive. If a person with a life-limiting illness chooses to access VAD, this does not preclude the person from ongoing access to other health care services, including specialist palliative care.

Optimising person- and family-centred end of life care during a pandemic

The role of the nurse in assessment and management of multimorbidity

ACN acknowledges that safe and highquality end-of-life care is a human right that must be available to every individual at the time and in the place where it is needed. During the COVID-19 pandemic, access to quality end-of-life care has been impacted by enhanced public health and infection prevention and control measures as well as restrictions associated with COVID-19. ACN supports nursing practice that integrates a person and familycentred approach to end-of-life care as a core component of a health and aged care service response for managing the COVID-19 pandemic, including effective symptom support, timely communication inclusive of informal carers (including family members, surrogates and informal support persons), and ensuring care aligns with the person’s values and preferences.

In Australia, it is estimated that around half of all people accessing primary health care services have two or more chronic conditions and a third of the population have three or more conditions. Multimorbidity presents an ever-increasing resource and financial burden on the health care system including a higher number of hospital admissions, an increase in the length of admission and number of outpatient appointments. Nurses are well positioned to deliver patient-centred, cost-effective solutions to tackle the complex and growing issues related to multimorbidity. ACN calls on the Federal Government to ensure nursing representation on key advisory boards and expert committees at an early stage (e.g. chronic conditions, obesity, tobacco and alcohol) and support and resource the nursing workforce to lead initiatives that identify risk factors and prevent the development of chronic conditions.

Maternal, Child and Family Health Nursing There is evidence to suggest educational institutions and employers are changing qualifications and position descriptions to allow midwives to study or work as Maternal, Child and Family Health Nurses (MCFHN), as they are unable to use terms such as ‘nurse’ or ‘nursing’. ACN is committed to ensuring nurses remain leaders in maternal, child and family health care. Real or perceived shortages in the MCFHN workforce must be addressed through greater support for transition to practice, succession planning, enhanced employment conditions for MCFHN, and adherence to state and federal MCFHN standards, rather than through substitution.


The role of nurses in supporting older people to access quality, safe aged care Developed November 2020 Next Review November 2021



The Australian College of Nursing (ACN) is committed to advancing nurse leadership in the design, governance and

While the Australian population is ageing,1 most older people care for themselves within the community. However, over

provision of high-quality, person-centred and professional aged care. Nurses contribute to planning, delivering and evaluating clinical and other care and lifestyle outcomes in all aged care

time age-related and other factors impact on their health, wellbeing and ability to function independently. Many older people have more than one chronic condition and live

settings. Nurses have a critical role in providing quality and safe aged care that includes: contributing to clinical governance systems, upholding older peoples’ rights to dignity, respect and

with significant self-care, disease and treatment burdens.2 Thus, they are at risk of being prescribed potentially/ actually inappropriate medicines and of medicine-related

autonomy and making care decisions consistent with their values and goals; and delivering quality, safe care irrespective of care environment.

adverse events, including unnecessary hospitalisations.

KEY FACTS • Nurses, as part of clinical governance systems, contribute to measuring, monitoring and improving the quality, safety and appropriateness of clinical care. • Older people are a diverse group whose care needs vary depending on the care environment and their presenting health issues. Care must be personalised to meet the expressed needs of the individual, and in consultation with the individual or family where appropriate. • Older people have the right to receive quality evidencebased care consistent with their needs. • Nurses support individual older people and their families to access evidence-based care. • Enabling older people to participate in their care decisions, undertake self-care and seek help early are core components of safe, quality care. • Nurses lead and support aged care teams to provide safe, quality care for older people through the application of their knowledge, skills and mentorship. Nurses have a responsibility to continuously reflect on and develop their knowledge and skills.

Many older people require polypharmacy to manage their health conditions, some of which are high risk medicines. Thus, they are at risk being prescribe potentially/actually inappropriate medicines and of medicine-related adverse events, including unnecessary hospitalisations. These medicinerelated adverse events occur in hospital, residential aged care facilities and community settings, and can contribute to morbidity and mortality. As such, many older people require comprehensive, holistic and high-quality clinical care. The Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety3 (Royal Commission) found ‘the aged care system fails to meet the needs of older, often very vulnerable citizens. It does not deliver uniformly safe and quality care for older people. It is unkind and uncaring towards them.’ Counsel assisting’s the Royal Commission4 made wide ranging proposed recommendations to improve the aged care system to be considered by the Commissioners in the development of the final report due in February 2021. ACN welcomes the ‘whole of system’ approach suggested by the Counsel Assisting’s, to address deficits identified in over 35 public reviews, innumerable internal reviews, indicator monitoring, studies and consultancies conducted over the past 40 years into the aged care system.5 Specifically, ACN supports the: • focus on the rights-based approach to care, supported by legislation • shift towards a system that supports the most vulnerable and marginalised • emphasis on addressing workforce deficits that influence poor care outcomes • monitoring of care outcomes through effective clinical indicators • prioritising strategies for vastly improved quality and safety of aged care provision. 04.02.21

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Year in Review 2020-2021


Other policy papers ACN Emissions Reduction Charter This charter outlines the core beliefs and responsibilities all Australians have in aiding the reduction of carbon emissions. Nursing leadership is key to the health and aged care industries reducing emissions safely and effectively. ACN calls on all governments, organisations and Australian nurses to implement strong organisational governance at the board level to make emissions reduction a core responsibility. Men in Nursing Guiding Principles The aim of this document, launched at the 2021 ACN Policy Summit by Men in Nursing Working Party Chair Luke Yokota MACN, is to promote men in nursing and broader gender equity through principles to help shape attitudes and actions, establishing more inclusive and equitable working environments and patient care across the Australian nursing profession.

Nursing Leadership in Diversity and Inclusion Guiding Principles The aim of this document, launched at the 2021 ACN Policy Summit by Diversity and Inclusion Working Party Co-Chair Shauna Wilson MACN, is to promote nursing leadership by sharing principles to help shape behaviour and actions, and establishing more diverse and inclusive working environments and patient care across the Australian nursing profession. Overarching principles include celebrating and valuing difference, fostering inclusive and supportive workplaces and approaches to patient care, and nurturing ongoing curiosity, engagement and learning. The ACN Diversity and Inclusion pillars include:

The ACN Men in Nursing principles include:

1. Diversity and Inclusion

Principle 1: Eliminating rigid gender roles and expectations will help individuals achieve their potential, and foster a more inclusive, equitable and diverse society.

2. Gender Equity

Principle 2: The nursing workforce should reflect the diverse needs and backgrounds of all Australians, to ensure person-centred, empathic and inclusive care.

5. Access and Disability.

Principle 3: Schools, higher education and training organisations should actively promote gender equity in their curriculum, recruitment, and transition to practice programs.


Principle 4: Health care service providers should promote gender equity and inclusion through enhanced collaboration, positive workplace culture, equitable governance structures and leadership.

Australian College of Nursing

3. Cultural and Linguistic Diversity (CALD) 4. Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (LGBTQIA+)

This document details and aligns reflections, insights and guiding principles and examples with ACN’s Diversity and Inclusion pillars. The case for nurse leadership in valuebased health care (VBHC) – Fact Sheet VBHC is a person-centred approach that prioritises the outcomes that matter most

for a patient in the care of their condition, relative to the costs and resources required over the full cycle of their care. ACN argues for models of care that provide the right incentives and the right care at the right time for the right price, in the right place by the right provider. The scale and spread of nursing care, along with the trust they engender in communities, means nurses are best-placed to deliver value-based health care. Employment and support of new nursing graduates in Australia: An environmental scan Australia is presently experiencing a surplus of nurse graduates, with health services unable to accommodate all graduates within formal transition programs. With a rapidly ageing health care workforce, the transition of new graduate nurses into health services is critical to sustain the workforce and to enable workforce succession planning. The purpose of this paper is to facilitate an understanding of the utilisation of and support for new graduate registered nurses within Australia. The aim of this environmental scan was to investigate the current state of transition to practice for newly graduated nurses across Australia. Graduate transition programs in nursing: a rapid review This review sought to identify and describe evidence regarding whether graduate transition programs in nursing facilitate newly qualified nurses’ retention in the workforce and the value and benefits of graduate transition programs to graduate nurses and health care services.

ACN SCHOLARSHIPS Through ACN scholarships and grants, the ACN Foundation aims to support nurses to pursue education, policy and leadership development. We would like to congratulate the following ACN grants and scholarship recipients for the year of 2020: College Consortium Research Grant Claudia Virdun MACN Eric Murray Achiever Award Kaitlyn Davies Laura Saunderson Aged Care Nursing Scholarship Emma Metcalfe-Nash MACN Beverley Taylor MACN Kylie Chalmers MACN Nicola Gee

EXTERNAL SCHOLARSHIPS In the past year, ACN has opened applications and offered government funded scholarships for the Puggy Hunter Memorial Scholarship Scheme, Nursing and Midwifery Scholarships and Aged Care Nursing Scholarships. ACN launched a new scholarship in March 2021 called the Victorian Postgraduate Mental Health Nurse Scholarship, this particular scholarship is funded by the Victorian Government and is for nurses in Victoria to gain mental health qualifications.

‘Sul’ Stuart Fraser Scholarship Rebecca Keogh MACN Joyce Wickham Memorial Grant (Doctoral) Wayne Varndell MACN Annie M Sage Memorial Scholarship Amy-Louise Byrne MACN ACN Scholarship Grant Lisa Dick MACN Centaur Nurses Memorial Education Trust Jennifer Boak MACN

Year in Review 2020-2021


INTERNATIONAL NURSES DAY Every year on 12 May, the world honours nurses everywhere for their selfless work, dedication to the profession and compassion for everyone they care for. In a world that continues to be affected deeply by the COVID-19 pandemic since March 2020, nurses continue to provide care in the face of unimaginable difficulty with grace and resilience. To recognise their hard work and contribution, we celebrated the ACN National Nurses Breakfast on International Nurses Day. Festivities began early at a special ACN Breakfast event at Canberra’s Lake Burley Griffin, where our staff and members were joined by ACT Minister for Health Rachel Stephen-Smith and our valued Corporate Partner HESTA. To add to these celebrations, we were extremely proud to have the ACN flags once again flying over the Commonwealth Avenue Bridge. In a special first, the National Carillon was lit up for the week to acknowledge the pivotal contribution of nurses to the health and wellbeing of our communities. ACN CEO Adjunct Professor Kylie Ward FACN made a special appearance on a Studio 10 feature on the occasion, with nurses at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Sydney Local Health District and students from University of Technology Sydney (UTS) Health. We loved seeing nurses getting together with their peers to take this day for themselves and celebrate each other.


Australian College of Nursing

Year in Review 2020-2021


HEALTH MINISTER’S AWARD FOR NURSING TRAILBLAZERS The Health Minister’s Award for Nursing Trailblazers acknowledges nurse-led innovations and models of care which significantly improve health outcomes for the Australian community through evidence-based processes. In 2020, Lorna Cook MACN, Shannon Wallis MACN and Matiu Bush MACN were chosen as finalists for the award. Lorna is recognised for her transformational work as the co-founder chemo@home, a nation-wide organisation which provides chemotherapy to cancer patients in the patient’s home. Shannon’s nurse leadership journey currently involves leading clinical teams to oversee the establishment of a virtual hospital, the MeCare program, the Heart


Australian College of Nursing

Health Hub and a range of ‘light touch’ programs including COVID virtual beds and a gestational diabetes program. A Nurse Practitioner, Matiu’s nursing career is highlighted by founding Good Street, a social impact platform which encourages neighbour-initiated care for older residents at risk of social isolation and loneliness. In November 2020, in a special virtual award ceremony, Federal Health Minister The Hon. Greg Hunt MP — along with a host of high-class dignitaries including ACN President Professor Christine Duffield FACN, CEO Adjunct Professor Kylie Ward FACN, and 2019 Health Minister’s Award for Nursing Trailblazers Winner Nikki Johnston OAM MACN — announced Shannon Wallis MACN as the 2020 winner.

Winning the Health Minister’s Award for Nursing Trailblazers 2020 was a real privilege. I was very fortunate to have Executive level support for the work that I have been undertaking in Virtual Healthcare within West Moreton Health Services. Nurses are innovators in health care but often this innovation is not recognised. I believe that by highlighting and promoting the work that the virtual care nursing teams are providing for patients utilising remote patient monitoring, video conferencing and data analytics, we will encourage other nursing colleagues around Australia to also introduce virtual care into their service offerings. As a profession, we need to build capability and skills of our nurses to provide efficient, effective and sustainable health care to meet future demands. It has been wonderful to receive the Trailblazer Award and I encourage others to put their hand up to share the challenges and successes of delivering care in new and exciting ways. SHANNON WALLIS MACN, WINNER, HEALTH MINISTER’S AWARD FOR NURSING TRAILBLAZERS 2020


COMMUNITY WEEK Nurses where you need them

NURSING IN THE COMMUNITY WEEK From 14–20 September 2020, ACN and its Nursing in the Community Community of Interest (COI) hosted the Nursing in the Community Week, proudly sponsored by Regal Home Health. This year, we placed the spotlight on the extraordinary nurses working in our community, who provide expert and professional care to patients at every stage of their life, from life to death. To kick off the week, we launched celebratory videos, viewed by over 100,000, featuring high-profile nurse leaders such as Dr Helen Haines MP

and Adjunct Professor Debra Thoms FACN (DLF). Over 1,864 nurses and members of the community registered to receive ACN’s special digital awareness pack that included an informative infographics poster and social media resources for nurses and the public alike.

Nursing in the Community Week is our opportunity to showcase and increase awareness of the variety of areas and the diversity of ways nurses contribute to people’s health and wellbeing in our Australian health care system. The year 2020 was a significant one and made visible the touchpoints nurses have in the lives of our community. We had a terrific response and engagement from our members and the larger community to the profiling of the valuable roles our nurses play, messages from Community Nurse Leaders and webinars hosted by our academic and specialist experts in community and primary health care. KITTY HUTCHISON FACN, CHAIR NURSING IN THE COMMUNITY COI

ACN’s NurseClick blog and The ACN Podcast with Ben Jenkins MACN featured several community nurses from different areas of practice as well as acclaimed primary health care nurse leaders such as Professor Elizabeth Halcomb FACN.

Year in Review 2020-2021


THE VIVIAN BULLWINKEL PROJECT A Great Australian; A Great Leader; A Great Woman and a Proud Nurse

VIVIAN BULLWINKEL PROJECT An authentic nursing leader who made great personal sacrifices with empathy, skill, generosity, humour and true grit, LTCOL Vivian Bullwinkel AO MBE ARRC ED FNM FRCNA represents the character traits we have seen in nurses throughout history, even today. Her legacy continues to be relevant, witnessed through the leadership and personal sacrifices of nurses during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2019, ACN, through the Australian College of Nursing (ACN) Foundation, committed to raising funds to commission a sculpture of Vivian Bullwinkel in the gardens of the Australian War Memorial, the first of an individual woman or nurse.

Inspired by her, LTCOL Serena Lawlor MACN, Head of Defence Force Nursing created a team B-Inspired to raise funds for the sculpture during the 2021 Canberra Times Marathon. The team raised the profile of The Bullwinkel Project as well as almost $7,000. We are pleased to announce the ACN Foundation now also aims to raise additional funds to create scholarships in the names of Vivian’s 21 Australian nurse colleagues who tragically did not survive the Bangka Island massacre almost 80 years ago. It is our will to keep the stories of these courageous nurses at the forefront as a reminder of the Australian nurse character.

As an Australian Service Nurse, I sustained lifethreatening injuries whilst deployed overseas. Vivian Bullwinkel’s ability to continue to live her life in the service of others, despite the adversity she had faced, provided me with unparalleled and powerful motivation to do the same.

Portrait of Matron Vivian Bullwinkel by Shirley Bourne, Archibald finalist 1955–57

Vivian was witness to the death of 21 of her Australian Army Nursing Service sisters. She devoted her life to ensuring that not only did we understand how they had died, but most importantly, how courageously and selflessly they had lived. WING COMMANDER (RETD) SHARON BOWN FACN, MEMBER OF THE AUSTRALIAN WAR MEMORIAL COUNCIL


Australian College of Nursing

LTCOL Serena Lawlor MACN, Head of Defence Force Nursing featured in The Canberra Times running in The Canberra Times Marathon with her B-Inspired team to raise funds for the Vivian Bullwinkel Project

LEST WE FORGET Remembrance Day

Last Post Ceremony Every afternoon at 4.55pm, the Australian War Memorial holds a Last Post Ceremony to commemorate an individual on their Honour Roll. In 2021, two nurses who served in the Second World War have been honoured. In January 2021, ACT Region Chair Chrysta Bridge MACN laid a wreath at the Australian War Memorial’s Last Post Ceremony for Australian Army Nurse Captain Pauline Hempsted. Captain Hempsted served at the 2/13th Australian General Hospital in Singapore during World War II and was taken as a prisoner of war after the sinking of the SS Vyner Brooke in 1942. She sadly passed away from illness at Muntok prison camp on 19 March 1945, just before the war ended.

In February 2021, Adjunct Professor Kylie Ward FACN and Lieutenant Commander Anthony Russell FACN laid a wreath at the Australian War Memorial’s Last Post Ceremony for Rosetta Wight. Sister Wight enlisted in the Australian Army Nursing Service in 1941 and served at the 2/13th Australian General Hospital in Singapore. Sister Wight left Singapore on the SS Vyner Brooke. However, she was one of 22 nurses who washed upon Radji Beach on Bangka Island off Sumatra. The group was brutally machine-gunned to death as they were forced to walk into the sea by the Japanese in what is now known as the Bangka Island Massacre.

Every year, on Remembrance Day, Australians honour those who died or suffered in all wars and armed conflicts. In November 2020, Tania Dufty FACN and LTCOL Serena Lawlor MACN, laid a wreath at the Australian Nurses Memorial in Canberra on Remembrance Day.

Anzac Day In April 2021, Adjunct Professor Ward attended a memorial service to honour those who have served our nation and continue to do so during conflicts and peacetime.

Year in Review 2020-2021


ACN BOARD OF DIRECTORS The guidance and direction provided by ACN’s Board of Directors is crucial to the success and advancement of the organisation, and consequently, in advancing nurse leadership. In an unprecedented year, their collective expertise has ensured that ACN continues to grow in terms of relevance, membership and financial sustainability.


Australian College of Nursing

In June 2021, our esteemed Board members and the Executive Team met to discuss ACN’s progress so far and plan the roadmap ahead, for the organisation to prepare to deliver its next set of key objectives. We would like to thank Christopher Drummer for his contribution, who retired after completing two four-year terms on

the Board, and welcome Michael Ryan, who joined the Board in June as ACN’s new Independent Director. We would like to thank our Board members for their leadership through the last 12 months, thanks to which ACN continues to demonstrate excellence in our profession.










Year in Review 2020-2021


PEOPLE AT ACN Year after year, ACN’s staff members strive to support our members and the nursing profession in every way they can. Just like our membership, our people at ACN are committed to advancing nurse leadership and influence, cementing ACN’s position as the pre-eminent leader of the profession. In the last 12 months, as the COVID-19 pandemic made an unprecedented impact on the world — and continues to do so — our teams at ACN quickly and seamlessly adapted to new ways of working so that we could continue to deliver high-quality services to our members and students. We are proud to have been able to maintain our ways of being and ways of working — embracing change, creating exceptional experiences for our membership, clocking significant milestones in the face of everevolving challenges and working hard to ensure that the collective nursing voice is heard at every level.


Australian College of Nursing

Year in Review 2020-2021


WHAT OUR ACN TEAM MEMBERS HAVE TO SAY Our team’s 50 years of collective ACN experience enables us to offer our students clear communication. In 2020-2021, we were challenged with the new ways of working, including our new online chat feature, a new enrolment process for Immunisation and an ever-increasing volume of applications for Graduate Certificates, including the new short course model. Our genuine care for each other, and our students and educators, enables us to provide a much better customer experience. ANNA CAPPELLI, CUSTOMER SERVICE

As COVID-19 closed gatherings across the world, the ACN Leadership Events team looked to bring nurses together in new and meaningful ways. One highlight was the first hybrid style ACN Policy Summit, hosting speakers from across the country and overseas, and welcoming both face-to-face and online guests. Another was the virtual ACN Nursing & Health Expo, which collectively attracted 3,500 nurses from Australia and overseas. We look forward to more exciting, inclusive and innovative experiences in the future! JESSICA BRYDEN, EVENTS

The past year has been incredible for me as part of the higher education team. Although we offer various courses to foster cultural change, improve health outcomes, and enhance the quality of life of people in aged care homes, coordinating the Nurse Graduate Program was an honour. It empowers nurse graduates and their mentors to become the clinical and professional leaders required for the aged care industry. DIVA MADAN, EDUCATION

It has been inspiring to work with a dedicated group of ACN staff, students, members and external collaborators on initiatives to further the education of nurses through new student support services, the development of CPD modules, and the review and improvements of academic governance and processes. I look forward to seeing the positive impact on our students, members and community. MARY NGUYEN, OFFICE OF THE COO


Australian College of Nursing

Working for ACN has been a personal and professional honour, especially in these unprecedented times. I feel proud to have been part of the profession and to see the way nurses have grabbed the global spotlight. ACN has had to adapt to a new way of living, both in our homes and work, this transition was so smoothly actioned that we were able to continue to provide all our stakeholders with great service. ROXANE OWEN, HUMAN RESOURCES

I am privileged to be part of a small yet high-performing, high-calibre team; together we have nurtured our profession with our policy and advocacy work. Highlights of 2021 include the online modules for the Policy Fellows and the Policy Masterclass for emerging nurse leaders which was so successful it will be conducted again in 2022. As a passionate nurse philosopher, it is also gratifying to know that the quarterly edition of Ethics Matters continues to be popular in The Hive. DR LEXIE BRANS FACN, POLICY

The last 12 months have been full of development, overcoming challenges and exponential growth for the immunisation team, increasing from one to four full-time nurse educators. An overwhelming interest in the immunisation course and hard work from the team has resulted in over 3,600 new immunisers from enrolments in the last 12 months. The team has also released and maintained the COVID-19 training modules, HESA accreditation three new CPD modules and a new student management system. RACHEL MCCULLOUGH, EDUCATION

Last year, we processed over 7,000 applications, offering 600 scholarships through Aged Care Nursing, Nursing and Midwifery Scholarships and Victorian Postgraduate Mental Health Nurse Scholarships programs. A number of applications for the Puggy Hunter Memorial Scholarships Scheme enabled ACN to offer undergraduate scholarships to many nursing, midwifery, medicine and allied health Indigenous students.

It’s been a privilege to share nurses’ stories across ACN’s social media channels and NurseClick. A highlight was the opportunity to profile the work of nurses in Melbourne as part of our Life in Lockdown series. However, I really hope I don’t have to use the phrase ‘unprecedented times’ as much as I have over the past year! RORY O’SULLIVAN, MARKETING AND COMMUNICATIONS


It has been rewarding to work in a dynamic finance team. We are honoured to be part of financial decisions that allow the profession to flourish through implementation of a wide array of educational programs for nurses who will play a pivotal role in leading the nursing profession. SHANTHA GNANARATNAM, FINANCE

In the last 12 months, we were able to improve member benefits through the online ‘Join Now’ process, the new Mentor Program and other initiatives. We look forward to an exciting year as we continue to grow the ACN membership base through our work. JANET BAKER, MEMBERSHIP

Year in Review 2020-2021




The past year has been a pivotal one, both for ACN publications and communications and the ACN Fellows and Members who receive them. Over the last 12 months, we have worked to document and share their inspiring stories of working through the COVID-19 pandemic, keep them updated about the latest developments in health care policy, voice their concerns and assist them in sharing their expertise with peers and the community at large.

In March 2021, we launched the first edition of the ACN Now eNewsletter, a weekly e-communications exclusively for our membership. It includes regular updates such as membership benefits, upcoming events, features on Communities of Interest and Regions, top discussions on neo, member spotlights, expressions of interest and representation opportunities, advocacy and policy news, CPD bulletin, nursing employment opportunities and more.

Through our printed member magazine The Hive and the online NurseClick blog, ACN has kept members informed about the contribution of our Fellows and Members throughout the year, policy changes and progress that impact our profession and ACN’s key initiatives and projects to support nurses and advance nurse leadership.

Our academic peer-reviewed journal Collegian: The Australian Journal of Nursing Practice and Research continues to publish research articles and scholarly discussion of nursing practice, policy and professional issues. In a significant milestone, the journal surpassed its previous Impact Factor* record of 1.83 to achieve an Impact Factor of 2.573 this year. (*A measure of the

Australian College of Nursing

frequency with which the average article has been cited in a particular year. It is used to measure the rank of a journal by calculating the times its articles are cited.) Collegian also published a special issue on Nursing and Health Care History. We would like to thank Editor in Chief Professor Lisa McKenna FACN for her leadership and dedication to making Collegian a highly regarded journal. We would also like to acknowledge the editorial team, who volunteer their time and effort to ensure that the journal excels year after year.

Thank you to our ACN Fellows and Members who are part of the Editorial Board and the International Advisory Board of Collegian, for providing their valuable time and expertise to the journal. Melanie Birks FACN Melissa Bloomer FACN Andrew Cashin FACN Mary Courtney FACN Bev Copnell MACN Patricia Davidson FACN Clint Douglas MACN Karen Francis FACN Laurie Grealish FACN Elizabeth Halcomb FACN Violeta Lopez FACN Lisa McKenna FACN

interviewees include ACN President Professor Christine Duffield FACN, Professor Roianne West, CEO of Congress of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Nurses and Midwives (CATSINaM) and 2020 Trailblazer Winner Shannon Wallis MACN.

Anne McMurray FACN Jane Mills FACN Jason Mills FACN Jennifer Newton FACN Andrew Scanlon FACN Patsy Yates FACN

We would like to thank everyone who has contributed to our publications and hope to keep our members connected, inspired and informed into the future.

Mary Casey MACN Louisa Lam MACN Maria Murphy MACN Craig Phillips MACN


Michael Roche MACN

• ACN monthly eNewsletter

After 26 episodes in its inaugural year, The ACN Podcast with Ben Jenkins MACN returned this year with Season 2. The series continues to feature interviews with high-profile nurse leaders and discuss crucial professional issues. Some of our

• Collegian eNewsletter • Non-member eNewsletter • ACN Now eNewsletter • DLF Newsletter • ACN Media Releases






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Unique visitors In 2019-2020: 653,313 In 2020-2021: 831,438 An increase of 27% Page views In 2019-2020: 2,362,925 In 2020-2021: 2,915,228 An increase of 23%

Year in Review 2020-2021



Australian College of Nursing

Progressing nurse leadership Year in Review 2020-2021



he Australian College of Nursing (ACN) believes that nursing leadership is fundamental to meeting the evolving health care needs of the Australian community, and is committed to advancing nurse leadership.

Our initiatives such as the Institute of Leadership, the ACN Foundation Policy Fellows Program and The Leader’s Mindset Masterclass Series are designed to help nurses empower themselves to strengthen their knowledge, influence in their existing and future roles, and contribute to Australia’s nursing policy developments. Through our myriad educational offerings with a strong clinical focus and evidence-based practice, we are proud to contribute to our future nurse leaders’ journeys. By being part of ACN’s Region and Communities of Interest Leadership Teams, our Fellows and Members have the opportunity to represent ACN externally and liaise with political leaders and key stakeholders, thereby providing a voice for our profession and championing nurse leadership. As we progress, ACN continues to explore new avenues and support nurses to be the best nurse leaders they can be.


Australian College of Nursing

POLICY FELLOWS The ACN Foundation Policy Fellows Program (AFPP) is the first of its kind in Australia. It is a commitment from the Australian College of Nursing (ACN) Foundation to invest in our future nursing leaders. Under AFPP, Policy Fellows will be afforded the opportunity to receive health policy and advocacy education and mentoring including skills around researching, writing, presenting and producing documents such as policy statements, commentaries, issues papers, white papers and scoping reviews.

There were seven successful applicants in 2021 who will advance their understanding and contribution to policy debate and discussion through the lens of nursing policy development on completion of their scholarships in 2021.

Dr Natasha Franklin MACN

Our new cohort of Policy Fellows will be joining Dr Carey Mather MACN, our inaugural Policy Fellow from 2020.

Samantha Petric MACN

Maria Hobbs MACN Mark Holmes MACN Jed Montayre MACN Dr Melanie Murray MACN Dr Toyin Sowole MACN We congratulate our new Policy Fellows for this year!

Year in Review 2020-2021


EMERGING NURSE LEADER PROGRAM ACN is committed to advancing nurse leadership, and through its prestigious Emerging Nurse Leader (ENL) Program, participants can develop their leadership skills through access to high-profile nurse leaders across Australia, mentors, career coaching and professional development opportunities. By participating in the ENL Program, they gain a better understanding of: • Their own leadership qualities • The development and impact of nursing policy, research and education • Contemporary health care environments • How they can use the skills they learn to effect positive change in their workplace and in the wider health care context.


Australian College of Nursing

In 2020, 53 Emerging Nurse Leaders completed the ENL program, with seven receiving a High Achiever certificate for their outstanding performance. We would like to extend a heart-warming congratulations to all our ENLs. It was an exceptionally difficult year for these nurse leaders who, throughout the pandemic, persisted and completed this prestigious program. We would also like to thank our ENL Reviewers, who scored the applications to determine successful candidates. A highlight of the program this year was the 2020 Emerging Nurse Leader Reflections video. As part of the 2020 completion, ENLs were asked to describe their ENL journey in one word and were asked to write it creatively. These were then compiled into a video and shared on our social media platforms.

The global Nursing Now movement featured ACN’s ENL program as an exemplar way of elevating the nursing profession and I was inspired to apply. My biggest takeaway from the program was the process of putting myself forward in the limelight and putting my hand up for opportunities. As Brene Brown would describe it in her book Dare To Lead, it’s about putting yourself in the ‘arena’. I was undertaking a graduate program as a mental health nurse when I saw a job advertised as Digital Mental Health Engagement lead with THIS WAY UP, a digital mental health treatment service and I was immediately intrigued. Having the leadership program behind me gave me the confidence to apply for the role and in October 2020, I landed my dream job. JAY COURT MACN

WHAT OUR ENLs HAD TO SAY My biggest achievement was to have helped plan the Becoming and Being a Nurse Leader webinar with the ACN Melbourne Region team. AMY HUMME MACN

One of things I achieved was organising 40 ACN care packages for our nursing society members that would make 2020 a little bit easier. SAVANNAH GRUDZINSKI MACN

I’m proud of being part of the Men in Nursing Working Party which prompted me to meet with some amazing nurses and help lead the NT Men in Nursing campaign. BEAU DUPEN MACN

Year in Review 2020-2021



Australian College of Nursing

Year in Review 2020-2021


MID-CAREER PROGRAM In October 2020, 17 participants of the Mid-Career Nurse Leadership Program from the February 2020 cohort completed their program. The Mid-Career Nurse Leadership Program is a six-month long course through which nurses can empower themselves to lead change in a rapidly changing environment. The course involves personal development, career coaching and learning sets, guided by ACN’s Members and/or Fellows, in order to practice meaningful, outcome-driven coaching conversations. We would like to thank the speakers and coaches who gave their valuable time and effort to the participants of the program.


Australian College of Nursing

Speakers Professor Christine Duffield FACN Adjunct Professor Kylie Ward FACN Adjunct Professor Debra Thoms FACN (DLF) Dr Jen Bichel-Findlay FACN Karen Cook FACN Adjunct Professor Sue Hawes FACN Mark Kearin FACN Dr Lynette Cusack MACN Dr Samantha Jakimowicz MACN Flavia D’Ambrosio Dr Christine Dennis

WHAT PARTICIPANTS SAID ABOUT THE PROGRAM Interaction centred on leadership styles, project management tools and guidance Process of quality improvement explained in detail, group work, being forced to interact and work with strangers, getting out of one’s comfort zone Gave such an insight and perspective to the framework that underpins our practice and professional standards Relatable and realistic, brought perspective to practice. Learning how to be politically skilled and understanding how to adapt or reframe ideas/projects/ needs to the decision makers to facilitate change Reconnecting with the importance of data analytics and rigour of evidence when presenting ideas Understanding integration between leadership, staffing and patient safety. The relationship between work environment, skill mix and staff numbers in relation to unit complexity – connection to data Positive reinforcement of the individual. Focusing on us as a person and not as a job title in order to develop us as an individual professional

Year in Review 2020-2021



Australian College of Nursing

This program has introduced me to new people, new ways of thinking and new ways of understanding myself, the profession and the extent of influence we can have as nurses on health care delivery. As a result of commencing this program, I have a better understanding of how I can influence change as a nurse in regional Australia. Being surrounded by like-minded people was motivating and inspiring! I learnt so much from other attendees as everyone had an opportunity to share their experiences and thoughts. It was very encouraging and positive. The presenters delivered information that was evidence-based, well-rounded and full of passion for the profession! The skills and knowledge learnt in the masterclasses have given me the courage and confidence I needed to know not only what resources are required to influence change, but also how to implement change successfully. I feel that I have a better understanding of where nursing is and where it can go into the future – this is an exciting time for us as nurses. This program was exactly what I was looking for and so much more! Amazing people, empowering content, practical insights into both overcoming challenges and embracing opportunities to enhance leadership in nursing. Thank you so much! ANNELIES TITULAER MACN

Year in Review 2020-2021


LET’S TALK LEADERSHIP SERIES ACN’s Let’s Talk Leadership series is a valuable opportunity for participants to learn from, be inspired by and network with well-known and high-achieving leaders from various professions and industries across the country. Although we had to postpone some of our face-to-face events last year, we adapted our Let’s Talk Leadership events to allow nurses to be inspired by high-profile leaders through online sessions.

Thank you to @kylieward and @Kate_ Jenkins_ for a fascinating midday webinar for @acn_tweet. A particular take-away was the discussion on sexual harassment in the workplace, and what we as leaders can do to est a culture where staff feel supported to raise and discuss concerns. BENJAMIN JENKINS MACN VIA TWITTER (@BENJENKINSRN)

To celebrate International Men’s Day on 19 November 2020, we invited The Hon. Michael Kirby AC CMG, former Justice of the High Court of Australia, to highlight the importance of developing collaborative leaders and men in nursing. In October 2020, we were delighted to feature Australia’s Sex Discrimination Commissioner Kate Jenkins as our Let’s Talk Leadership presenter.

What a great webinar this evening with Justice Michael Kirby on leadership @acn_ tweet @kylieward – wise advice, an absolute privilege to listen to. #MenInNursing #MensDay19Nov DR CALEB FERGUSON FACN VIA TWITTER (@CALEBFERG)


Australian College of Nursing



LEADER’S MINDSET MASTERCLASS ACN has always advocated that every nurse is a leader. Nurses demonstrate every day that they are the backbone of the Australian health care system and to support them to advance their nurse leadership, ACN introduced The Leader’s Mindset Masterclass Series in November 2020. The Series is specifically tailored for nurse leaders and designed to ignite leadership skills. It combines five powerful masterclasses starting with the fundamental course – The Leader’s Mindset, followed by the Communications Masterclass, Engagement Masterclass, Smart Decision System Masterclass and the Strategic Problem-Solving Masterclass, to create an integrated and transformational learning experience.

I believe that you constantly learn and grow throughout your career and continuous learning is a must to improve your knowledge and skill set, or just bringing to the front of mind things that you know have laid dormant until you re-read about them. I feel that the Communications Masterclass and the use of The COMMS ROCKET as the framework has enabled me to understand at a deeper level the thinking, behaviours and decision making of people. The COVID-19 pandemic has had a heavy toll on our health system, and the Strategic Problem-Solving Masterclass has provided a clear framework for facing challenges. NANCY ARNOLD FACN

To show our appreciation and acknowledgement for the leadership nurses have demonstrated throughout 2020, ACN gifted its members 1,000 scholarships valued at $1,000,000.

Year in Review 2020-2021























Australian College of Nursing

COI LEADERSHIP TEAMS Adolescent and Young People

Chief Nursing Informatics Officers Clinical Product Advisors

CHAIR Associate Professor Lucie Ramjan MACN

CHAIR Kate Renzenbrink MACN



CHAIR Robyn Quinn FACN

Cosmetic Nursing CHAIR Robin Curran MACN


Advanced Practice



Climate & Health

CHAIR Christopher O’Donnell FACN

CHAIR Dr Frances Peart FACN


DEPUTY CHAIR Adjunct Professor Chris Raftery FACN




Year in Review 2020-2021


Disaster Health

Healthy Ageing

CHAIR Professor Alison Hutton FACN

CHAIR Kay Richards FACN

CHAIR Elizabeth Matters FACN









Enrolled Nurses CHAIR Shauna Wilson MACN

History First Nations CHAIR Professor Odette Best FACN



International Nursing

Australian College of Nursing



Legal and Ethical Issues

National Nursing Executive Group

CHAIR Dr Catriona Booker FACN

CHAIR Scott Trueman MACN

CHAIR Bernadette Twomey MACN

DEPUTY CHAIR Professor Karen Clark-Burg MACN


DEPUTY CHAIR Adjunct Professor Sue Hawes FACN



Next Generation CHAIR Lucy Osborn MACN


Military Nursing CHAIR CAPT. Dr Amanda Garlick MACN

DEPUTY CHAIR Andrea Jansen Van Rensburg MACN





Year in Review 2020-2021


Nurse Informatics


Nursing in the Community

Rural Nursing & Midwifery

CHAIR Adjunct Professor Naomi Dobroff FACN

CHAIR Kitty Hutchison FACN

CHAIR Heather Keighley FACN


DEPUTY CHAIR Adjunct Professor Anna Shepherd FACN (Hon)

DEPUTY CHAIR Dr Judith Anderson FACN






Australian College of Nursing





Nurse Informatics COI

International Nursing COI

Leadership COI

The COI had a strong year through their involvement in the National Nursing and Midwifery Digital Health Capability Framework and the My Health Record Nurse Champion Program, in collaboration with the Australian Digital Health Agency.

Formed in early 2020, just before the COVID-19 outbreak, the COI was able to pivot to provide highly relevant CPD content to the membership and the broader workforce. These included Nursing in Low Resource Settings During Covid-19: Perspectives from Médecins Sans Frontières webinar, and Vaccine Equity for Frontline Workers webinar presented in partnership with Médecins Sans Frontières.

ACN’s largest COI with over 1,400 Fellows and Members, the Leadership COI facilitated a series of four mentoring webinars.

The COI delivered a series of webinars designed to inform the membership and broader workforce on the positive use of informatics through the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as to educate attendees on how they can apply the recently released National Nursing and Midwifery Digital Health Capability Framework to their own practice and in their workplaces. Adjunct Associate Professor Naomi Dobroff FACN represented ACN as a key author of the Framework.

The COI also held a hugely popular webinar in partnership with the Nursing and Midifery Board of Australia (NMBA). The webinar, Getting to Australia: The New Registration Process for Internationally Qualified Nurses, was presented by COI Secretariat Ylona Chun Tie MACN and Tanya Vogt, Executive Officer of the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia.

Three webinars were dedicated to exploring the elements of effective mentoring relationships in early, mid and executive career stages, and the fourth webinar featured a summary of the key takeaways and answers to questions raised throughout the series. The webinars proved to be highly popular, with registration and attendance numbers growing each session. The Leadership Team also participated in the development of Mentor Match, ACN’s new career mentoring platform available to ACN members.

Year in Review 2020-2021


AFFILIATES The year 2021 marks five years of ACN’s Affiliate Program, an incredible milestone and a testimony to ACN’s capable leadership within the nursing profession.

2016 Alice Springs Roadshow: Members from Royal Flying Doctor Service, Alice Springs Hospital and NT Health

We launched the Membership Affiliation Program in January 2014. Eastern Health in Victoria became ACN’s first Affiliate Partner in 2014, followed by South Australia’s Resthaven Aged Care in in 2015 – both organisations have been with us since. In February 2016, a restructure and expansion of the ACN Affiliate Program was proposed to better align with ACN’s strategic intent. The new structure would have four levels (Platinum, Gold, Silver and Bronze) to appeal to a broader range of nursing, health and related organisations.

The Affiliate Program has gone from strength to strength, with an incredible network that has grown through ACN’s numerous events and initiatives including the Affiliate Breakfast, Roadshows and the National Nursing Forum, to name just a few. Thanks to our Affiliate Program, ACN has witnessed immense growth in education as well as membership. In 2021, our Platinum Affiliates were offered special benefits in the form of enrollments to the Leader’s Mindset Masterclass. We would like to thank all 106 (and counting!) members of our Affiliate community, those who have been with us right from our humble beginnings as well as those who have joined us along the way.

ACN Nursing & Health Expo 2017 Melbourne – Bolton Clarke

2018 Roadshow Toowoomba with Darling Downs Health Service


Australian College of Nursing

NNF 2019: Department of Health Tasmania, Metro South Health, NT Nursing & Midwifery Office

2020 Nursing Now Roadshow Broken Hill with Far West Local Health District

Year in Review 2020-2021


ACT Health – Nursing & Midwifery Office

Metro North Hospital and Health Service

Australian Defence Force

Alfred Health

Mid North Coast Local Health District

Calvary Public Hospital Bruce

Austin Health

Mildura Base Public Hospital

Charles Darwin University

Ballarat Health Services

Monash Health

Bendigo Health

Monash University – Clayton Campus

Department of Health and Human Services (Tas)

Bolton Clarke

Murrumbidgee Local Health District

Flinders University

Canberra Health Services

Northern Sydney Local Health District

Central Adelaide Local Health Network

Nursing & Midwifery Office South Australia Health

Health Services Evolution (Nurses for Nurses Network)

Central Australia Health Service

Nursing Group Pty Ltd

Opal Aged Care

Sunny Street

Primary Health Network Northern Territory

Sydney Local Health District

Cohuna District Hospital

Metro South Health

Congress of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Nurses and Midwives

Regis Aged Care Pty Ltd

Torrens University/Think Education (Laureate Education Services)

Centre for Nursing & Midwifery Education & Research

Darling Downs Hospital and Health Service District Eastern Health Edith Cowan University Epworth HealthCare Far West Local Health District Goulburn Valley Health Health Generation Healthscope Pty Ltd Justice Health & Forensic Mental Health Network Lyndoch Living Mallee Track Health & Community Services


HealthX Group

Office of the Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer QLD

Central West Hospital and Health Services

Resthaven Inc.

University of Canberra

Salvation Army Aged Care

University of Technology Sydney

Serco Australia Pty Ltd

Western Sydney Local Health District

South West Healthcare

Your Nursing Agency Pty Ltd

South Western Sydney Local Health District St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne St Vincent’s Hospital Sydney Limited Swan Hill District Health Swinburne University of Technology Sydney Children’s Hospital Network University of Newcastle University of South Australia WA Cancer & Palliative Care Network

Marie Stopes Australia

Western Health

Medibank Health Solutions

Wide Bay Hospital and Health Service

Australian College of Nursing

Barwon Health

Anchor Excellence

College of Emergency Nursing Australasia Ltd – National Secretariat (CENA)

Association of Queensland Nurse and Midwifery Leaders (Inc)

Benefits of being an ACN Affiliate

Davaar Consultancy Training & Development Pty Ltd


Educational opportunities for Affiliate organisation’s staff

Deakin University IBIS Care James Cook University Needle Calm Northern Hospital Epping Nurse & Midwife Support One Door Mental Health Palliative Care South East Western Sydney University

Australasian Association for Quality in Health Care Australian Nurse Teachers Society (ANTS)

Endorsement of our profession and support to further its qualities and reputation

Caring For You Nursing Agency

Networking opportunities

Australian College of Neonatal Nurses

Casterton Memorial Hospital CDM Plus Cosmetic Professional Development Institute of Australia Fox Education and Consultancy Healthy Male La Trobe Rural Health School North Metropolitan TAFE Northeast Health Wangaratta Otorhinolaryngology Head & Neck Nurses Group Port Macquarie Disability & Nursing Services Queensland University of Technology South Metropolitan TAFE

Relationships, networking and advocacy Access to high quality training and industry updates for our clinical staff Giving our nurses the opportunity to be part of the ACN Tribe Access to ACN’s resources and network A way to support our nurses with timely, relevant and important information impacting the profession and wider health sector

Stawell Regional Health SummitCare Baulkham Hills The Albion Centre The Royal Women’s Hospital Touchstone Life Care Uniting War Memorial Hospital

Year in Review 2020-2021


HESA ACCREDITATION In September 2020, ACN’s 307 Immunisation for Health Practitioners course became the first in Australia to be accredited by Health Education Services Australia (HESA). This was a significant achievement as ACN has always advocated for the vital contribution nurses make to delivering immunisation


Australian College of Nursing

programs as an important preventative health measure for the Australian community. HESA is a new subsidiary of the Australian Nursing & Midwifery Accreditation Council (ANMAC) designed to standardise and nationalise immunisation education in Australia by accrediting courses.

ACN President Professor Christine Duffield FACN accepted the award from Clinical Professor and Managing Director of HESA, Professor Fiona Stoker FACN, on behalf of the organisation and ACN’s Education Team.

ACN was the first organisation to bring to market our HESA accredited Immunisation for Health Practitioner Course. A fantastic achievement by the team given the challenging working environment of 2020. YVONNE MCKINLAY FACN, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, EDUCATION

Year in Review 2020-2021


FIRST EVER COMMONWEALTH SUPPORTED SHORT COURSES During 2020-2021, we launched our first ever Commonwealth supported short courses, with 140 enrolments. ACN applied for, and was successful in getting, Commonwealth supported places for two cohorts, each consisting of 70 students. These are heavily subsidised places, and the subsidy comes from the Federal Government. These places are available to universities and this is the first time it has opened to independent Institutions of Higher Education, and has done so on a competitive basis. ACN was successfully able to demonstrate how our courses would meet the needs of a post-COVID-19 economy. It is also aimed to prepare the workforce for economic downturn and enables unemployed or underemployed Australians to retrain in priority areas such as health.


Australian College of Nursing



ACN was re-accredited as a higher education provider by the Tertiary Education Quality Services Agency (TEQSA) in September 2020 for the maximum allowed seven years until 2027. Fifteen of ACN’s Graduate Certificates were also re-accredited in February 2021 for the maximum period allowed until April 2028.

In 2020–2021, ACN was able to secure: • Commonwealth Grant Scheme funding for Graduate Certificate courses in June 2020 and April 2021 • Commonwealth funding to deliver the COVID-19 Vaccination Training Program • Commonwealth funding to deliver an Aged Care Transition to Practice Program.

TRANSITION TO PRACTICE PROGRAM In May 2021, ACN launched the inaugural ACN Transition to Practice Program (TTPP), which prepares newly qualified Registered and Enrolled Nurses for a confident entry into the workforce. The program allows new graduates who have not secured a graduate position to gain equivalent knowledge and skills. In celebration of International Nurses Day, in May 2021, ACN was proud to offer 1,000 scholarships for TTPP to ACN members and a 50% discount to non-members.



ACN offers a range of short face-to-face, webinar and online CPD courses to assist nurses in achieving the hours required by the NMBA for annual renewal and authority to practice.

• Clinical approaches in drug and alcohol nursing (326)

ACN was proud to offer 52 continuing professional development courses over the last 12 months, some of which include:

• Principles of cancer care nursing (329) • Principles of breast cancer nursing (327)

• Foundational concepts of drug and alcohol nursing practice (324) • Understanding data in healthcare (321).

• Alcohol and other Drugs • Aged Care Standards • Immunisation • Professional Series • Transition to Practice

Year in Review 2020-2021



ACN NURSING & HEALTH VIRTUAL EXPO ACN’s 2021 Nursing & Health Virtual Expo was held in April 2021. Typically held every year in Melbourne, this year the Expo was a virtual event, open nation-wide for the first time. This allowed many more nurses, those currently studying nursing and/or considering a career in nursing or health professions from across the country to attend. Over 40 exhibitors participated and over 3,500 attended the Expo this year. ACN’s CEO Adjunct Professor Kylie Ward FACN conveyed her thanks in a special video message to all those who helped make the event a success this year.

The ACN Expo is a such a great opportunity to connect with employers and get a feel for what’s out there in the industry. Rarely do you get the opportunity to understand the diversity of options out there. It reminded me that there is a place for everyone in nursing. I think everyone should do it. Very motivating for nursing students like me. RILEY SOARES

The virtual delivery was outstanding, allowing me to quickly connect with colleagues and potential employers while being present for my partner and our younger children at our home in rural Victoria if they needed me while attending. JONAH GRUNER


Australian College of Nursing

I felt that the Expo was invaluable and I am glad I decided to give it a shot. It was great that there were so many different organisations representing, rather than just hospitals promoting graduate programs or institutes for further studying. TEEMA BOYSAL

This was my first time attending the ACN Expo, what a great experience, so much information all in one place and a chance to meet potential employers. It was such a valuable experience, I highly recommend it and I’ll definitely be going again next year. JODI REID

Considering it was an online format it was amazing. So thankful for the opportunity. VANESSA SMITH

Year in Review 2020-2021


NURSING NOW AUSTRALIA FINALE The three-year global Nursing Now campaign concluded in May 2021 with a special event at the Parliament House in Canberra. To mark the finale, ACN collaborated with the Australian Nursing & Midwifery Federation (ANMF), Australian Nursing & Midwifery Accreditation Council (ANMAC), Congress of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Nurses and Midwives (CATSINaM), Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA) and the Australian Government Department of Health. The campaign aimed to highlight how empowering nurses and investing in their leadership development can lead to improved health, gender equity and economic development. Insightful talks and presentations during the event revealed how through nursing leadership, our local politicians and members, we are collectively working to raise the status and profile of our profession and to command the respect it deserves. The exclusive gathering, which marked the finale of this worldwide awareness campaign, featured influential nurse leaders from various professional backgrounds coming together to talk about the success of Nursing Now and highlight issues that we as a profession need to focus more on.


Australian College of Nursing

Dr Helen Haines MP, Independent Member for Indi, commenced the event. As a nurse herself, Dr Haines discussed how nurses’ unique insights can play a critical role in policymaking. Putting forth the example of climate change, Dr Haines demonstrated how nurses can bring their own experiences to the table to decide policy around the use of fossil fuels in our energy mix by reflecting on their knowledge of air pollution and its effect on respiratory functions. Adjunct Professor (Practice) Alison McMillan PSM MACN, Commonwealth Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer, who followed Dr Haines, talked about a nursing role being integral to Australia’s response to the pandemic. The importance of telling our truth was a central theme that was reflected in the inspiring speeches on the three main topics of the event — Black Lives Matter, natural disasters and the experience of nurses throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. CATSINaM’s Dr Lynore Geia MACN highlighted the need and the opportunity to focus on the Black Lives Matter work in nursing to bring in health equity for Australia’s First Nations people. Dr Geia called for nurses everywhere to use their voice and leadership to dismantle frameworks of racism and oppression

in their nursing arenas. Dr Odette Best FACN, too, highlighted the need to recognise the contributions of Indigenous nurses and acknowledge their role as the active providers of care to all people. As a historian herself, Dr Best talked about the importance of recording the stories of First Nations nurses who are also working to protecting all communities during the pandemic. ANMF’s Emma Murphy shared her life-changing experience of working in the country’s aged care system and the crisis the sector has been going through for years now. Emma discussed issues surrounding poor working conditions, acute staff shortage, pay disparity and the impact on the wellbeing of staff as well as residents. ACN CEO Adjunct Professor Kylie Ward FACN invited a distinguished panel featuring Professor Emerita Jill White AM FACN, Annie Butler, Adjunct Associate Professor Veronica Casey FACN, Professor Roianne West and Professor Fiona Stoker FACN to collectively discuss the roadmap for the profession and answer questions from the attendees. We would like to thank all those who were present, both physically and virtually, to mark this important occasion with us.

We would like to thank our speakers for sharing their valuable experiences and insights: Dr Odette Best FACN Professor, University of Southern Queensland, Ipswich Campus (QLD) Annie Butler Federal Secretary, ANMF (VIC) David Carpenter MACN Flight Nurse, Royal Flying Doctor Service (NT) Adjunct Associate Professor Veronica Casey AM FACN Executive Director Nursing & Midwifery, Metro South Hospital & Health Service (QLD) Dr Wendy Cross FACN Professor & Head School of Nursing and Midwifery, Monash University, Clayton Campus (VIC) Kylie Douglas MACN Australian Defence Force Dr Lynore Geia MACN Academic Lead Indigenous Health, James Cook University (QLD)

Sye Hodgman First Nations Strategy, Policy and Research Officer, Queensland Nurses and Midwives’​Union (QLD) Professor (Practice) Alison McMillan MACN PSM Commonwealth Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer (ACT) Emma Murphy Registered Nurse (RN), Montserrat Hospitals (QLD) Emma Reardon MACN RN, St Vincent’s Hospital, Melbourne (VIC) Kathryn Stein MACN Australian Defence Force Professor Fiona Stoker FACN CEO, ANMAC (ACT) Rebecca Weir MACN Director of Clinical Services: Nursing Mid, Northeast Health Wangaratta (VIC) Professor Roianne West CEO, CATSINaM (QLD) Professor Emerita Jill White AM FACN Board Member, Nursing Now Campaign & Professor of Nursing and Midwifery, University of Sydney (NSW)

Dr Helen Haines MP Member for Indi, Victoria (VIC)

Year in Review 2020-2021




Australian College of Nursing

Year in Review 2020-2021


IT’S TIME FOR NURSES SCHOLARSHIP FUND KICK OFF & GIVING DAY The Australian College of Nursing (ACN) Foundation was established to provide access through funding, in support of initiatives that enhance, develop and recognise contributions made by Australian nurses that will improve the health of the Australian community and secure nursing history. The ACN Foundation collaborates with the community at large to raise funds in support of nurse-led initiatives that focus on research, policy development and advocacy, education and scholarship, nurse leadership and the curation of Australian nursing history. To support this mission, in 2020, the ACN Foundation announced a new scholarship fund for nurses, It’s Time for Nurses Scholarship Fund. There are not enough nursing scholarships to meet demand, and this Fund aims to grow over the years from donations from the community at large. It is aimed at developing a fund with $250,000 for 20 nurses to get access to new scholarship funds. The Fund was announced through a 24-hour Giving Day, the first community fundraising campaign ever undertaken by the ACN or the ACN Foundation. Through this campaign, held in December 2020, we aimed to raise the profile of the Foundation, to raise awareness of the paucity of nursing scholarships and to let the wider community know they can support nurses through the fund.


Australian College of Nursing


2 December 2020

When applying for the ACN scholarship grant in 2019, I had no idea of the impact COVID-19 would have upon my studies. The ACN grant ensured I was able to continue studying through some of the toughest days seen by our profession in recent times and allowed me to not only complete my thesis on clinical governance in nursing, but achieve a high distinction. It is my hope this research will one day amplify the nursing voice in clinical governance, a contribution to the profession after receiving this great scholarship support from ACN. KATE ROWAN-ROBINSON MACN, ACN SCHOLARSHIP RECIPIENT

MENTORS Every year, ACN’s DLFs, Fellows and Members volunteer their time, guidance and expertise to support up and coming nurse leaders in the ACN tribe. Through mentoring and coaching, members

of ACN have the opportunity to seek direction and progress their career, and mentors have the opportunity to give back to the profession.

We thank our mentors and coaches who gave their time to guide our nurse leaders through their leadership journey last year.

Mid-Career Program Coaches

ENL Mentors

Sue Hughes FACN

John Kelly AM FACN DLF

Tony Dolan MACN

Jo Mapes FACN

Ann Aitken FACN

Deidre Guthrie MACN

Rona Pillay FACN

Leanne Aitken FACN

Kerrie Hayes MACN

Joanna Ramadge FACN

Judith Anderson FACN

Alison Smith MACN

Georgina Willetts FACN

Fran Chavasse FACN

Andrew Ingersoll MACN

Carollyn Williams FACN

Sue Hughes FACN

Katherine Isbister MACN

Jed Duff MACN

Alison Hutton FACN

Marli Millas MACN

Kathleen Fair MACN

Elizabeth Matters FACN

Sam Munian MACN

Sally Anne Fleischer MACN

Jason Mills FACN

Judith Needham MACN

Samantha Gent MACN

Kalpana Raghunathan FACN

Nick Nijkamp MACN

Courtney Hayes MACN

Michele Rumsey FACN

Kate Partington MACN

Kerri McLeod MACN

Di Twigg FACN

Jessica Pougnault MACN

Neil McIntyre MACN

Susan De Vries FACN

Bernice Redley MACN

Clair Nunn MACN

Susan Williams FACN

Michael Roche MACN

Basil Paulose MACN

Nicole Argall MACN

Kaye Rolls MACN

Wendy Penney MACN

Nicole Blay MACN

Kate Rowan-Robinson MACN

Paul Rumpff MACN

Leanne Boyd MACN

Paul Rumpff MACN

Samantha Sanders MACN

Lyn Brett MACN

Jessica Stokes-Parish MACN

Donna Stevens MACN

Sue Buckman MACN

Catherine Tonkin MACN

Eva Storey MACN

Adam Burns MACN

Meaghan Trovato MACN

John Wright MACN

Kaylenne Byrne MACN

Emma Versluis MACN

Frances Calleja MACN Maureen Dillon MACN

Year in Review 2020-2021



Australian College of Nursing

Caring for our own Year in Review 2020-2021



he past 12 months have been an incredibly challenging time for all of us. In unprecedented circumstances created by the pandemic, we have all had to adapt to a new way of life, learn how to cope with the ever-evolving situation in Australia, live and work through the daily uncertainty and experience mental stress brought on by all these changes. The past year has highlighted, more than ever, the need to be kinder to those around us. The increasing reports of violence against nurses compelled us to create a taskforce to address the grave issue. Nurses give so much to this profession and to the people who seek care from them and it is unacceptable that they should experience violence and disrespectful attitudes, personally or professionally. These times have also brought into sharp focus the importance of looking after our health and wellbeing. To support others, we must be physically, mentally and emotionally well ourselves. At ACN, we also endeavour to support our staff members in the best way possible so that they can, in turn, support our membership. We believe that little acts of kindness go a long way in boosting morale and showing our people that they are cared for. We were delighted to send care packages to every staff member, curated from local businesses to show our solidarity with them. Members of our very special group NurseStrong, too, received care packages over the last year. The heartfelt response we received in return reminded us of why we are proud to be part of this wonderful Tribe. We hope for a more positive year ahead and promise to support nurses in every way possible.


Australian College of Nursing

SUPPORTING OUR AMAZING STAFF The ACN team is dedicated to providing exceptional services to its Fellows and Members, no matter where in Australia they are. As ACN adjusted to a new way of working to support, educate and advocate for nurses all over the country, the organisation ensured that its team was supported to transition smoothly to a remote work setting in beginning of 2020. And while working remotely has its positives, working in isolation without the everyday connections we make while working face to face is a challenge in itself, and can certainly affect mental wellbeing. To show our appreciation to ACN staff members for their hard work in these particularly difficult times and to remind them to look after their physical and mental health, we were pleased to send them care packs specially put together for them to take time for self-care and be creative. We were also delighted to send Christmas hampers packed with gourmet goodies, towards the end of 2020. We would like to thank every ACN staff member for their commitment to the nursing profession and for ensuring that nurses everywhere in Australia receive the support they need from ACN.

QUOTES FROM ACN STAFF I received an ACN Care package in the mail yesterday – made my day. NINA VESALA, MARKETING AND COMMUNICATIONS

Thank you Kylie Ward and thank you ACN for the wonderful care package and baby gifts!!

I got my care package late Friday afternoon...perfect timing after a very busy week.



Was so delighted to finish my working week on a chilly Friday with my beautiful package from ACN. Thanks Kylie Ward and the ACN team it is such a great privilege to work at ACN. The package was perfect including colouring pencils and a mindfulness colouring book for adults. YVONNE MCKINLAY FACN, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, EDUCATION

Thank you Kylie I also just received my package late last night. It was exciting opening it up to see my gift. MARIA VIRGILII, CUSTOMER SERVICE Year in Review 2020-2021


NURSES AND VIOLENCE TASKFORCE As the first point of contact in health care nurses care for people every day who have been harmed by someone close to them. And yet, our profession is disproportionately affected by violence, both personally and professionally. Aside from the impact on their own mental health, for nurses who personally experience domestic violence, caring for victims can cause them to constantly relive their own trauma. The Nurses and Violence Taskforce was formed in late 2020 to provide direction and advice to develop an advocacy campaign to ensure people, especially women, have the support required and nurses understand their role in identifying those at risk of Domestic and Family Violence against Women.


Australian College of Nursing

Adjunct Professor Kylie Ward FACN is the Chair of the Taskforce and as the issues are so complex and systemic, four committees were formed. Each committee, co-chaired with Adjunct Professor Ward, is developing policy, advocacy and educational strategies to tackle this insidious societal evil. Committee 1: Nurses experiencing domestic violence Committee 2: Nurses caring for people experiencing domestic violence

Committee 1: Nurses Experiencing Domestic Violence Committee Co-chairs: Adjunct Professor Kylie Ward FACN and Dr Jacqui Pich MACN Key objective: To understand how nurses who are victims of domestic violence can best be supported through their workplace. 2021 Priorities:

Committee 3: Occupational violence

• Understanding the gaps in existing services for nurses

Committee 4: Nurses and Child Protection Committee

• Developing resources so nurses can support their colleagues • Understanding how health care employers can create supportive environments for nurses who may be victims of domestic violence.

Committee 2: Nurses Caring for People Experiencing Domestic Violence Committee

Committee 3: Occupational Violence Committee

Committee 4: Nurses and Child Protection Committee

Co-chairs: Adjunct Professor Kylie Ward FACN and Dr Leesa Hooker MACN

Co-chair: Adjunct Professor Kylie Ward FACN and Professor Georgina Willetts FACN

Co-chairs: Adjunct Professor Kylie Ward FACN and Rheannwynn Sneesby MACN

Key objective: To focus on the role nurses have in supporting victims of domestic violence in the community.

Key objective: To look at how nurses are at risk of violence in their workplaces and how this can be limited.

Key objective: To focus on the role nurses have in supporting children experiencing child abuse and neglect.

2021 Priorities:

2021 Priorities:

2021 Priorities:

• Enhanced awareness through nursing leadership

• National legislation to protect nurses who may practice on their own

• Developing a platform for nurse education on domestic violence

• Developing toolkits to shift the language on workplace violence

• Develop standards on how we address jurisdictional barriers for children through nursing leadership

• Identifying opportunities to support nurses in caring for victim-survivors of domestic violence.

• Advancing policy positions for both governments and workplaces in preventing occupational violence against nurses.

• Identify and develop the nurse’s role in supporting child protection services through leadership and guideline development • Create strategies to support closing the gap through working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

A country that tolerates violence, particularly towards women and children, can never reach its full potential. The nursing profession is well placed to advocate for a safer community and a safer workplace for all Australians. Through this Taskforce, we intend to challenge politicians and societies, and tolerance of this insidious stain on our society, to build a better nation for all our children to flourish in the years ahead. ADJUNCT PROFESSOR KYLIE WARD FACN

Year in Review 2020-2021



NURSESTRONG Nurses spend every day caring for the sick, spending endless hours on their feet, coping with the mental and emotional strain of dealing with the vulnerable, putting their patients’ needs before their own. Never has this been more apparent than the last year. They have been working tirelessly through the extraordinary circumstances created by the COVID-19 pandemic, experiencing personal loss and health issues as they continued to look after the welfare of every Australian. It was of utmost importance to ACN that nurses everywhere looked after their mental, physical, emotional and spiritual wellbeing in this unprecedented time. With every passing year, the NurseStrong community continues to grow, and the mutual extension of support and respect we have witnessed in our NurseStrong family makes us proud to be part of this profession. NurseStrong is for nurses, by nurses and about nurses. It is a sacred space for them to look after each other and it’s about speaking freely, sharing the love and looking after each other.


Australian College of Nursing

As a way of thanking nurses for their dedication and compassion, we were delighted to be able to send them various specially curated care packs full of self-care goodies. We would like to thank our care pack sponsors – ALPeRSTein DeSIGNS, Byron Bay Cookies, Endota, Koh Living, Lucas’ PAWPAW REMEDIES, TILLEY, Australian Honey Cellars, The Berry Tea Shop, Frances Pilley, Grain, The Gundaroo Puzzler, Kionline., Chocolate on Purpose (Bush Food Chocolate), Little Echidna and Sistasaidso+. We loved seeing pictures from our members who received their care packs in the last 12 months, especially the amazing SHHH Silk mini fridges very kindly donated to us by Olivia Carr to send to nurses all over Australia. We hope nurses will continue to be part of NurseStrong, express themselves, seek help and take a moment to care for themselves and be there for each other.

NurseStrong is a safe, nonjudgemental, supportive space to discuss many things. Such care was put into the care packages with local Australian businesses having their products in the package. I was very moved, I felt so appreciated. KERRY POULISH MACN

I loved my package and what NurseStrong and ACN are doing to support nurses and promote our profession. JANET CARTY MACN

The care package we received reinforced ‘selfcare’ for me, especially during times of change and stress. Too often we put ourselves second. Self-care and reflection is part of Standard 7: NMBA Standards for Registered Nurses. Nurses won’t be ‘strong’ without self-care. GREG RICKARD MACN

NurseStrong is the perfect platform to share information, both positive and negative, about current nursing experiences by individuals around Australia. Especially during COVID-19, I found validated news and information on the group. SHAUNA WILSON MACN

Having my degree completion delayed by almost a year due to COVID-19 left me feeling quite disengaged from my studies, and where I am as a nurse currently. The NurseStrong community has helped me to feel that I still count and has powered me to continue forward in my journey through the encouragement and friendliness offered towards me. LISA ABEJJA MACN

I was so delighted to receive the beautiful gift. It is such a nice reminder that we belong to a bigger family that makes the effort to care. JUSTINE BULL MACN

It was such an honour to get the beautiful Shhh Silk fridge. It was overwhelming and I can tell you I cried with joy. The ACN team have been a great source of information and joy. CORALIE BRANNELLY MACN Year in Review 2020-2021




Australian College of Nursing

Year in Review 2020-2021


EDITORS Neha Malude Karen Watts DESIGN Emma Butz Nina Vesala PUBLISHER Australian College of Nursing 1 Napier Close, Deakin ACT, 2600 02 6283 3400 ABN: 48 154 924 642 PRINTING Elect Printing, Canberra © Australian College of Nursing 2021


Australian College of Nursing

Year in Review 2020-2021


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