New Nurse Practitioners to Care for Older Australians
The Australian Government is investing $18.7 million to expand the role of nurse practitioners in residential and community based care.
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15 December 2011
The Gillard Labor Government is investing $18.7 million to expand the role of nurse practitioners in residential and community based care.
Speaking during a visit to Resthaven in Malvern, Minister for Mental Health and Ageing Mark Butler said nurse practitioners play a vital role in delivering quality health care to older Australians and this boost in funding will increase their role in the aged care workforce.
More than 30 projects involving nurse practitioners will be funded under the Nurse Practitioner – Aged Care Models of Practice Program to help to improve access to primary health care for our older citizens.
Resthaven is receiving funding of more than $500,000 to employ a Palliative Care Nurse Practitioner across its residential aged care sites in Southeast Metropolitan Adelaide.
“The ageing of the population is changing the face of care. People in aged care homes have more complex care needs than was the case ten years ago,” Mr Butler said.
“Many older people are choosing to remain at home as they age so the need for comprehensive community aged care is also increasing.
“The increase in the number of people requiring more complex support and care means there will be additional demand for skilled aged care staff.
“That’s why the Government is providing funding to expand the role of nurse practitioners in residential and community based care. Highly trained and qualified staff are essential to delivering appropriate clinical care to prevent unnecessary hospital admissions and to improve the quality of life for older Australians.”
Nurse practitioners can assess and manage clients, directly refer clients to other healthcare professionals, prescribe medication and order diagnostic investigations.
Resthaven’s Palliative Care Nurse Practitioner will support people who are in the end phase of their ageing process, including people with dementia and other chronic health conditions.
“Older people want to remain in their homes for as long as possible and if possible for the rest of their lives. The new Nurse Practitioner will improve end of life care and allow more people to die at their preferred place,” Mr Butler said.
As well as providing improved access to primary health care for older Australians, the Program will provide new and extended career paths for aged care nurses.
“Delivering flexible training initiatives focused on improved clinical care will assist industry recruitment and retention and create attractive career paths in aged care,” Mr Butler said.
The Gillard Government is investing more than $300 million over four years to build the capacity of the aged care sector and develop the skills of the workforce.
Successful applicants are being funded in all states and territories, including services in rural, regional and remote areas, and organisations that provide Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and culturally specific care.
Funding recipients are:
- Menzies Research Institute Tasmania
- La Trobe University
- Adelaide North East Division of General Practice
- Queensland University of Technology
- The University of Newcastle
- Calvary Retirements Communities Hunter Manning Ltd
- Brightwater Care Group Inc
- Royal College of Nursing ACT
- Hunter New England Local Health District
- Hobart District Nursing Service Inc
- General Practice Network South Inc
- Department of Health – Queensland
- Murrumbidgee Medicare Local Limited
- The Bethanie Group Inc
- The Nurse Practitioner Acute Care Team Pty Ltd
- Illawarra Retirement Trust Ltd
- Bushland Health Group Limited
- Bass Coast Regional Health
- Southern Cross Care
- Anglican Retirement Villages Diocese of Sydney
- North East Valley Division of General Practice Pty Ltd
- Sir Moses Montefiore Jewish Home
- Silver Chain Nursing Association Inc
- Royal Freemasons Ltd
- Resthaven Incorporated
- Sunblade Enterprises Pty Ltd
- Holistic Medical Care Pty Ltd
- Denise Gay Simmons – Independent practitioner
- Joyce Donnelly – Independent practitioner
- Charles Darwin University
- Rumbalara Aboriginal Co-operative Ltd
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