The Australian College of Nurse Practitioners (ACNP) is the national peak body for Nurse Practitioners and advanced practice nurses in Australia. The ACNP has developed the Transforming Health Care initiative to provide valuable information to the public about the benefits of having Nurse Practitioners as part of your usual health care team; and to advise the healthcare sector about the advantages of increasing access to Nurse Practitioners across inpatient, outpatient and community settings.
Supported by the Commonwealth Department of Health, the Transforming Health Care campaign highlights the vital role that Nurse Practitioners have in the healthcare and community environments. Our aim is to connect directly with Australian communities and promote the value of Nurse Practitioners in addressing service shortfalls thereby improving the health care outcomes of Australians.
Since 2001, Nurse Practitioners numbers have expanded and now provide vital health care in all states and territories across Australia. Whilst the title and specific role of the “Nurse Practitioner” is relatively new, it is a natural progression for the advanced practice level of nursing, the experience, skill and education necessary to improve health outcomes. As the demand for accessible health increases, the focus of the campaign is to promote knowledge of the Nurse Practitioner role and the potential to address improved accessibility for all; bridging gaps not only in regional, rural and remote locations, but also addressing gaps in services in metropolitan areas and those clinical specialty areas where extensive waiting times are a reality.
Nurse Practitioners are an alternative for those that have limited access to health care and those who endure long waiting times for review of chronic and complex conditions. The ACNP campaign message is that creating public awareness of the potential benefits of Nurse Practitioners and their capacity to be a significant part of the solution, makes Nurse Practitioners a natural “choice” for consumers who aspire to improved health outcomes, reliable health education and health promotion, with an holistic focus on primary healthcare.
Transforming Health Care – the awareness campaign – aims to widen the knowledge of nurse practitioner scope of practice and capability to ensure that all consumers of health are given clear and informed information about their choices as they journey forwards. Nurse practitioners are well placed to advise and manage health and illness across the lifespan. Nurse practitioners are experienced in a wide array of clinical specialties and work within a designated scope to ensure that care is delivered by the most appropriate person at the most appropriate time to ensure all care is seamless and patient focused.
The Raising the Awareness of the Role of the Nurse Practitioner project has been funded by the Australian Government Department of Health