A message from Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer Alison McMillan – March 2023 part 2

A newsletter from Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer Alison McMillan with updates from the nursing and midwifery sector, some personal priorities and highlights, and an insight on what's happening across the Department of Health and Aged Care.

Date published:
Health sector

Hello and welcome back to my first newsletter for 2023. This year I will continue to share updates and milestones across the nursing and midwifery professions. It’s no secret they are facing complex challenges, and this year the Australian Government will continue to work on growing and supporting the health workforce so that we can deliver even better health care to all Australians. There is much work to be done, and I look forward to connecting with you on this topic in future editions of my newsletter.

For more updates from the Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer, follow Alison on LinkedIn

Endometriosis Awareness Month

March is Endometriosis Awareness Month, it’s a chronic condition that impacts at least one in 9 Australian women and girls and those assigned female at birth.

Endometriosis is a highly individualised disease, with its symptoms and impact ranging significantly from person to person.

The Australian Government is focused on improving endometriosis and pelvic pain diagnosis and primary care support, helping more women to find appropriate care and better manage the impact of endometriosis and pelvic pain.

Hear about the impact of endometriosis by watching my video: Endometriosis Awareness Month or visit our website.

Nurses and midwives honoured with Australia Day Awards:

Registered nurses and midwives provide excellence in clinical leadership across health and aged care and have a critical role in delivering safe and high-quality care to all Australian communities. The list of nurses and midwives who received an award can be found from the ANMJ website.

Increasing access to health and aged care – a strategic plan for the nurse practitioner workforce 

Consultation closed on 10 February for feedback on the consultation draft of the Nurse Practitioner Strategic Plan. Engagement levels were positive, with the Department of Health and Aged Care receiving 172 survey submissions and 25 written submissions.

We also held yarning circles, consumer focus groups and stakeholder meetings. Thank you to all those who have contributed throughout the process. We are now considering the detailed feedback we received to further refine the plan.

Support for nurses in mental health

Mental Health nurses are now eligible to apply for the ANZAED Eating Disorder Credential. The Credential aims to help people experiencing eating disorders to locate the appropriate treatment services at the right time. It formally recognises mental health professionals and dietitians who possess the qualifications, knowledge, training, and professional development profile to meet minimum standards for delivery of safe and effective eating disorder treatment. For more information visit ANZAED's website.

Cervical screening - the word's out about self-collection

During February, March and April 2023, the National Cervical Screening Program is partnering with Mamamia and The Daily Aus to promote a new option to collect your own Cervical Screening Test sample.

Self-collection is just as safe and effective at detecting HPV as in clinic, and has the potential to reach never or under-screened participants by providing an easier, less invasive option.

A pilot showed that 86% of never-screened or under-screened women and people with a cervix who declined a speculum examination agreed to self-collection when the option was offered. For more information visit our website.

Rare disease projects

The Rare Disease Awareness, Education, Support and Training (RArEST) Project, funded by the Department of Health and Aged Care, aims to improve outcomes for the one in 12 Australians living with a rare disease. Under this project, a range of rare disease resources, education, and training is being developed, including the following Rare Disease Project ECHO: https://learn.m4rd.org/
To subscribe to the courses for free and to access the lessons as they become available visit the registration page.

Infection control units HLTINF006 & HLTINF007 
1 March 2023

There have been recent changes made to Infection Prevention and Control units of competency in VET courses. New units have been published, either as part of a major change process - or as a minor change with the new unit being added to the elective bank.

To ensure all current qualifications that include the superseded units could be updated without delay, the Australian Industry and Skills Committee agreed that the new units should replace the superseded units in the remaining CHC and HLT qualifications through a ‘minor change’ process. More information on the units is available online.

Free Equip Aged Care Learning packages

An additional 3 modules are now available as part of the free learning offered through the University of Tasmania's Wicking Dementia Research and Education Centre.

The modules are designed for direct care workers (including nurses), volunteers, caregivers and anyone with an interest in improving care for older people:

  • Promoting Mental Health and Wellbeing
  • Prevention of Falls
  • Wound Management and Pressure Injury

Register and enrol for these modules at Equip Aged Care Learning (utas.edu.au).

For further enquiries, email equip.learning@utas.edu.au

Family and domestic violence training opportunity

The Safer Families Consortium has developed The Readiness Program. The suite of training resources supports primary health care workers to better recognise and respond to people experiencing family and domestic violence.

The flexible training delivery includes online workshops, virtual practice-centred learning, e-learning modules and webinars. The training is trauma- and violence-informed and is fully funded to anyone working in a primary care setting, including nursing and clinical and non-clinical staff within general practice, community health and Aboriginal Medical Services. Some midwives have also completed the training. This is an approved CPD activity under the RACGP CPD Program.

To register or find out more visit the Safer Families website.

Do you know someone interested in studying to be an Enrolled Nurse?

Become an enrolled nurse with a range of Fee-Free TAFE and vocational training places available in most states and territories. By completing a Diploma of Nursing you can work in a variety of health care areas, including hospitals, aged care, primary health or mental health. The health sector is growing in Australia and there are many employment opportunities for enrolled nurses. It is also a skill that is transferable with employment widely available in many locations.

For more information visit the your career website.

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