International Nurses Day! 12 May - Current Challenges in Nursing
Published: 07 May 2017
Published: 07 May 2017
This International Nurses’ Day, I would like to take time to think about where the future of nursing is headed.
For me, I think about the emerging role of Nurse Practitioners (NPs). HealthTimes (2017) highlight that NPs can work in various specialty areas, such as: primary healthcare, aged care, maternity, acute care, perioperative nursing, mental health, or chronic disease management. The Department of Health (2012) convey that NP access to the Medicare Benefits Schedule and the PBS (Pharmaceuticals Benefits Scheme) may help to improve primary healthcare or more effectively meet the needs of different communities within Australia.
In the lead up to International Nurses’ Day, I also think about the increasing demand for practice nurses as GP-super-clinics are becoming more of a trend (Department of Health, 2014). Some of the key objectives of the GP Super Clinics programme (Department of Health, 2014), were to: deliver high quality care; provide multidisciplinary healthcare; and provide more preventative care.
The World Health Organization (WHO) (2016) even have an entire Global Strategic Directions for Strengthening Nursing and Midwifery 2016-2020 document (accessible at www.who.int). In this document, WHO (2016) acknowledge that despite nurses making up about 50% of the health workforce in many nations, the issue of short-staffing persists.
Apparently, there are 20.7 million of us nurses and midwives (WHO, 2016)! That’s nearly the population of Australia (ABS, 2017); the ABS (2017) indicate that at the end of September 2016, the Australian population was >24. 2 million!
Some of the achievements in nursing, as outlined by WHO (2016), involve: implementation of competency-based training; having regulation standards for nursing; establishing national strategic plans; movement towards advanced nursing and midwifery practice; and, the primary healthcare model.
To overcome challenges in nursing, the following is imperative: excellent leadership; cultures of accountability; effective governance; and superb strategic planning (WHO, 2016).
This means that the nursing and midwifery workforce is competent and driven at all levels of the health system (WHO, 2016). It also means that there is a strong focus on creating successful governance, policy production, management and leadership (WHO, 2016).
WHO (2016) additionally highlights that it is important for nurses and midwives to collaborate and improve their capabilities. Moreover, there is a need for political investment in evidence-based workforce development for the nursing and midwifery industry (WHO, 2016).
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Madeline Gilkes, CDE, RN, is a Fellow of the Australasian Society of Lifestyle Medicine. She focused her Master of Healthcare Leadership research project on health coaching for long-term weight loss in obese adults. Madeline has found a passion for preventative nursing. She has transitioned from leadership roles (CNS Gerontology & Education, Clinical Facilitator) in the acute/hospital setting to education management and primary healthcare. Madeline’s vision is to implement lifestyle medicine to prevent and treat chronic conditions. Her research proposal for her PhD involves Lifestyle Medicine for Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus. Madeline is a Credentialled Diabetes Educator (CDE) and primarily works in the academic role of Head of Nursing. Madeline’s philosophy focuses on using humanistic management, adult learning theories/evidence and self-efficacy theories and interventions to promote positive learning environments. In addition to her Master of Healthcare Leadership, Madeline has a Graduate Certificate in Diabetes Education & Management, Graduate Certificate in Adult & Vocational Education, Graduate Certificate of Aged Care Nursing, and a Bachelor of Nursing. She is working towards her PhD. See Educator Profile