Aged care 24/7 registered nurse responsibility

From 1 July 2023, at least one registered nurse must be on-site and on duty at all times at each residential facility.

About the 24/7 RN responsibility

From 1 July 2023 approved providers must have at least one RN on-site and on duty 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, at each residential facility they operate.

For information about what is a residential facility, see Section 1.5 of the Care minutes and 24/7 registered nurse responsibility guide.

Why it is important

The Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety identified that staffing levels are critical to the quality of residential care, and recommended at least one RN be on-site at all times at each residential facility. See recommendation 86 of the final report for more information.

The 24/7 RN responsibility reduces the risk of resident harm by ensuring qualified and experienced care staff are always available to identify and address potential risks.

The responsibility also gives residents better access to care in facilities, and:

  • allows RNs to manage some issues as first responders
  • improves resident safety
  • prevents unnecessary trips to hospital emergency rooms.

For detailed information, see the Care minutes and 24/7 registered nurse responsibility guide.

Exemption arrangements from 1 July 2023

Residential aged care facilities with 30 or less approved beds in Modified Monash Model (MMM) 5–7 locations will be eligible for a one-off 12-month exemption from the 24/7 RN responsibility. Approved providers must apply for an exemption and sign a statement that they have suitable care arrangements in place for when they do not have an RN on-site and/or on duty. Approved providers can choose to opt out of the exemption.

Reporting arrangements from 1 July 2023

Information on reporting obligations for the 24/7 RN responsibility will be available before 1 July 2023.

Funding supplement from 1 July 2023

Residential aged care facilities with, on average, 60 residents or less per day (based on occupied bed days) will be eligible for a funding supplement to employ extra RNs to deliver 24/7 RN care.

Facilities with more than 60 residents will not receive the supplement, because their existing AN-ACC funding is sufficient to provide for 24/7 RN care.

For more information on the supplement, see 24/7 registered nurse supplement for residential aged care.

Future work on the 24/7 RN responsibility

The government is undertaking work to further develop and refine the 24/7 RN responsibility. This includes:

  •  modelling aged care RN workforce shortages by region to better inform future exemption arrangements
  • developing clinically appropriate alternative models of care to ensure safe and quality care is delivered when a RN is not available due to workforce shortages
  • including the 24/7 RN responsibility in Star Ratings.

We will undertake targeted consultation with a range of stakeholders over 2023-24 to inform this work.

Support for aged care workforce

A range of programs are available to support growing, skilling and enabling of the aged care workforce. For more information, see: 

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