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ACNP CEO Update November 2016
The past few months have been extremely busy and its now only 4 weeks until Christmas!
The focus of my time has mainly been around sponsorship and securing a range of new member benefits which will be available in 2017.
Consultations are continuing at a Commonwealth level and more recently I have met with the Digital Health Agency as part of the National Digital Health Strategy Consultation. More information available at:
If anyone has an interest in reviewing the ACSQHC Heavy Menstrual Bleeding Clinical Care Standard please email me at [email protected] for more information.
This week I have been in Canberra, which afforded the opportunity to attend the National Press Club presentation “Fixing Rural and Remote Health”. There was a significant nursing presence and representation by Janine Mohamed from the Congress of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Nurses and Midwives (CATSINaM).
I also attended Parliament House with a delegation from the Australian Health Care Reform Alliance (AHCRA), meeting with Ministers, Shadow Ministers and Senators. We also met with representatives from the Department of Health. I was very pleased, as nurse practitioners were raised many times during our conversations, which was very different to my experience earlier this year.
I met with Kate Maher, ACT Chapter Chair who has been working closely with the ACT Government, around recent election commitments including new nurse practitioner positions. The ACT Chapter are planning a high profile event for National Nurse Practitioner Day on 12 December in celebration.
Last week our prospectus for ACNP2017 Conference was released. There is already significant interest from partners and industry which is very exciting.
Please visit the conference website and register for updates:
Finally, congratulations to members who have completed their studies in 2016 and will be seeking endorsement. This is a huge achievement and the College looks forward to supporting you as you transition to NP practice.
In the past month I have had significant engagement with other nursing organisations, as nurse practitioners work across many different specialty areas. It is important that we all remain connected and work together where possible.
Our new President, Grainne Lowe will represent the ACNP at the Coalition of National Nursing & Midwifery Organisations meeting in Sydney this week. She will also attend a Parliamentary breakfast hosted by the Australian College of Nursing in Canberra.
Last month I highlighted that some of our members had been nominated to represent the nursing profession on a range of Commonwealth committees as part of the Healthier Medicare reforms. Each and every one of us has a vital role as an advocate for nurse practitioners. You now have an opportunity to shape the future of health care and to lobby for changes to MBS.
I seek your commitment to nominate for the clinical committees and working groups of the MBS Review Taskforce in Tranches 3, 4, 5 & 6.
Information is available at: http://www.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/MBSR-committees
It is important to note that in the past 12 months, ACNP has seen a 60% growth in NP jobs in non-public health care settings. This trend indicates that employment opportunities for NP in the future are more likely in the private/non-government sectors which is impacted by MBS funding.
When you nominate for these committees, please contact me so I can provide briefings and information from ACNP to support your participation. Thank you!
I am also in discussions with Department of Veterans Affairs in relation to RPBS.
It is possible that NP access will occur in a phased approach commencing later this year. I am seeking confirmation from members that wound management be included as the first phase. I also need to know the major issues currently for NP and RPBS/DVA and what areas or drugs are needed on RPBS as part of phase 2.
Thank you for your input on this work. Email me directly at [email protected] by COB 17/10/16.
Finally, a number of members at the Conference requested a poster that could be displayed in waiting areas or practice receptions promoting the role of nurse practitioners. This A3 poster will be available to download via our website at:
Firstly I would like to welcome the new National Executive:
President – Dr Grainne Lowe
Vice President – Lee Poole
Treasurer – Robin Moon
Secretary – Stephanie Dowden
I am looking forward to working closely with your new elected members and maintaining the momentum we have achieved over the past 12 months.
Again, I would like to thank outgoing Board members, in particular Chris Raftery for his leadership and vision during his term as President. Chris has made a significant contribution to the direction of the College and has created new opportunities for the ACNP at both state and national levels that has raised the profile of the College.
Thank you to everyone who supported the College and attended the National Conference in Alice Springs last week. The program was very diverse and provided a unique perspective on NP practice, particularly in rural and remote settings.
Our international guest speaker Dr Tammy O’Rourke was inspiring and encouraged all of us to be “lone nuts”, to spread the vision and show others how to follow. Planning for the Conference in 2017 in Brisbane is well underway with information available at www.acnpconference.com.au For enquiries, please contact the ACNP 2017 Conference Organiser via email: [email protected]
Finally, I would like to congratulate our members who have been nominated to represent the nursing profession on a range of Commonwealth committees as part of the Healthier Medicare reforms. Leanne Boase (Vic), Ann Robinson (Qld) and Chris Helms (Act) have been appointed as individual experts and have a vital role as advocates for nurse practitioner models of care. This is fantastic recognition and we thank them for their commitment to this important work.
I am excited to announce that I have been elected to the Executive of The Australian Health Care Reform Alliance (AHCRA) for a term of two years. AHCRA is a coalition of peak health groups working towards a better health system for Australia’s future. I will join as a health professional organisation representative (for ACNP) along with consumer and rural health organisations. More information about AHCRA can be found at: http://www.healthreform.org.au/
We are pleased to introduce the inaugural Mentor of the Year Award sponsored by Australian Medicines Handbook. This award will recognise a nurse practitioner who is influencing education and development of others through clinical supervision or mentoring. I know you will all have someone who has made a difference to your NP journey – what better way to thank them – nominate today!
In May I highlighted the main focus of my time now and over the next six months is working on a strategy, which incorporates marketing, sponsorship and engagement. We are currently finalising our proposal and will be approaching a wide range of industry seeking sponsorship. I feel confident we will engage a number of long-term partners who are interested in the NP agenda in Australia. Our headline for this project is Nurse Practitioners: here is your prescription!
Over the past weeks you have been participating in voting for the ACNP Executive team, which has now been finalised. I will be working closely with your elected members and hope we can continue the positive momentum achieved over the past 12 months.
Looking forward to catching up with you in Alice Springs at the ACNP National Conference.
Today I am attending the ACNP Queensland Chapter Education Event on the Gold Coast. I look forward to discussing current issues and proposed solutions for the future of our profession and catching up with ACNP members. A big thank you to the local organising committee for their hard work and commitment, in particular Jenny Stofmeel.
The National Conference is now just over two months away. A number of Awards and Scholarships are now open which will be awarded at the Conference. I encourage everyone to consider nominating a peer or nominating yourself!
Further details are available on the ACNP website at: https://acnp.org.au/awards
It is a very busy time at present with end of financial year, nominations for the Executive, preparation for the conference and working with Julian Moore from SMS. The College is also experiencing a high volume of enquiries. If you require an urgent response please contact Jenny our Secretariat directly on either a Wednesday or Friday for assistance.
The ACNP attended a reception at Parliament House in Brisbane at the request of the Honourable Cameron Dick, Minister for Health and Ambulance Services to celebrate International Nurses Day. The theme for International Nurses Day 2016 - Nurses: A Force for Change: Improving health systems’ resilience. Nurse Practitioners contribute to improving our health system every day. We must continue to work together to lead change and highlight our important role in supporting a sustainable health system for the future. Significant advocacy has occurred over the past months in the lead up to the Federal Election.
Registration has now opened for the 11th ACNP National Conference. The Conference Committee has been working very hard to bring you an exciting program. More details are available at: http://www.dcconferences.com.au/acnp2016
The main focus of my time now and over the next few months is working on a strategy which incorporates marketing, sponsorship and engagement. I would like to thank President Chris Raftery and the Board for their leadership with this work which will continue over the next 6-8 months. This will assist us to improve services to our members and ensure the sustainability of the College long term.
Significant work is progressing to address the feedback from the National Member Survey undertaken earlier this year.
The College has engaged the expertise of Julian Moore from SMS to assist us with a range of new strategies to benefit our members. We look forward to commencing this work in early May 2016.
Activity continues at a Commonwealth level, and you would all be aware of the report from the Primary Health Care Advisory Group released at the beginning of the month:
While nurse practitioners are recognised as a preferred clinician of choice for consumers with chronic and complex conditions, there is still significant work to be done in terms of supporting nurse practitioners in primary health care. Recently I have had discussions with Commonwealth Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer, Debra Thoms in partnership with the Australian College of Mental Health Nurses about the limited opportunities for supported clinical placements for students of NP programmes in the primary health care setting, particularly in mental health and aged care.
Thank you to everyone who submitted abstracts for the Conference. The program is coming together well and looks very exciting.
Mundipharma in collaboration with ACNP will again be recognising excellence in pain management with the Quality Use of Medicines Award for 2016 to be announced at the Conference. I encourage you to nominate an outstanding nurse practitioner or registered nurse who has made a positive difference to the health outcomes of someone with persistent pain. Nominate yourself! Further information will be provided on the website in the coming month.
No doubt it is a very busy time of year for all, particularly as nurse practitioner Masters programs get underway for 2016. We welcome new students to the ACNP and hope your journey will be both personally and professionally rewarding.
The College has recently been appointed to the Advisory Editorial Panel of the Australian Prescriber. This is a very exciting opportunity to contribute to the journal, which is a valuable resource for prescribers across Australia and I encourage you to subscribe if you do not already do so.
The member survey provided significant information about the current NP workforce. We now have over 40% of members who are working in regional areas, remote and very remote locations. To recognise this, the College has joined the National Rural Health Alliance. http://www.ruralhealth.org.au/
Submissions continue to take up a significant amount of my time with a number completed over the past month including:
Thank you to the Older Persons NP Collaborative in Victoria for their assistance preparing the submission to the Senate Inquiry, in particular Deanne Burge.
Finally, a very big thankyou to those who are working hard behind the scenes in preparation for the annual conference in Alice Springs. I encourage you all to visit the conference website and consider submitting an abstract to share the important work you are doing. http://www.dcconferences.com.au/acnp2016/
Firstly, a huge thank you to members who completed our National Membership Survey, despite technical issues. I am pleased with the overall response and appreciate your comments. A short summary will be provided in the next month.
This week I have been in Canberra for the Australian Health Care Reform Alliance Summit. The focus of discussions included indigenous health and mental health priorities.
The Closing the Gap Prime Ministers Report was also released this week and can be found at: https://www.dpmc.gov.au/sites/default/files/publications/closing_gap_report_2016_fully_accessible_0.pdf
On Thursday, I had the privilege of being part of a delegation to attend Parliament House to discuss health reform priorities with 14 Federal Ministers, Shadow Ministers, Members of Parliament and Senators. It was a great opportunity and has provided some interesting insight in the lead up to the federal election.
This weekend is the first face to face board meeting for the year. I look forward to participating in discussions with the board and helping to shape the direction of the College for the next 12 – 18 months.
Please feel free to contact me via email if you have any questions at [email protected]
Firstly, I would like to welcome back our members who have recently re-joined the College. Your support is crucial to continue advocacy efforts on behalf of nurse practitioners.
Momentum is continuing at a Commonwealth level. Chris Raftery, President and myself attended a meeting with Commonwealth Chief Nurse and Midwifery Officer, Debra Thoms in late November to discuss current issues for nurse practitioners.
This week I also attended the Nursing and Midwifery Strategic Reference Group in Canberra. This is the first time the College has been a member of this group which meets quarterly to discuss strategic nursing issues.
The College has prepared a submission to the Private Health Insurance Consultation 2015- 16. I would like to thank member Angela McGinnis for her assistance. For your interest, an issues paper is available at: http://www.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/healthcare-provider-roundtable
It will be important for each and every one of us to monitor the commentary in the health sector over the coming months, as a range of Commonwealth reviews deliver their final reports to the Minister.
This new page is designed to share the activities of the CEO and provide updates on important issues affecting nurse practitioners.
I am aware that some members are not signed up for E-post communication, so may not have been receiving my regular updates.
ACNP has responded to a large number of consultations in the past few months, the latest being the MBS Review. A list of submissions can be found on our web site at https://acnp.org.au/submissions
I would like to thank every member who has provided information over the past few months to assist with the submission to the Medicare Benefits Schedule Review, in particular the mental health nurse practitioners.
One of the priorities we all need to work on is getting the evidence out there. As we know, there is a growing body of evidence relating to nurse practitioners in Australia, but we must work harder at publishing the outcomes of our practice. With this in mind, applications for the Jane O’Connell Research Scholarship close on 4 December 2015.
Recently I had the opportunity to meet with Michael Greco, CEO of Patient Opinion, an independent not-for-profit charity. It shares patient stories (good and bad) with the people in health services who can make a difference.
Interestingly, many politicians are signed up to read the stories of consumers within their electorates. I am currently considering how this service could support ACNP and the community to tell stories about nurse practitioner services, particularly in the private sector. For more information: https://www.patientopinion.org.au/
Finally, thank you to everyone who has contacted me. Your emails are always informative and help me to stay across the issues that are impacting our members the most.