Funding boost for nurse practitioners

Thanks to new Federal Government program costing nearly 19 million dollars, nurse practitioners will soon be delivering front-line clinical care in community and residential settings.

Over 30 new projects across Australia involving nurse practitioners will be funded under the Nurse Practitioner – Aged Care Models of Practice Program, which aims to help bolster the role of nurse practitioners in aged care.

Resthaven Incorporated in Adelaide will receive over half a million dollars in funding for a palliative care NP, who will support patients facing the facing the end of their lives.

Other recipients of the funding include La Trobe University, Southern Cross Care, Illawarra Retirement, The Nurse Practitioner Acute Care Team, the Royal College of Nursing ACT and the Menzies Research Institute Tasmania.

The ANF (Australian Nursing Federation) and the ACNP (Australian College of Nurse Practitioners) have praised the move by the federal government as recognition the work of nurse practitioners in delivering quality care.

Helen Gosby, president of the ACNP said the new project will highlight the valuable contributions made by nurse practitioners, who now number over 600 across Australia.

“I think it’s the fact that they can see that nurse practitioners are a good model to be able to provide this care, I think it’s really good,” Ms Gosby said.

“This is an area often without resources and nurse practitioners will be able to provide care to a lot of these people in residential care and keep them out of hospital.”

Lee Thomas, federal secretary of the ANF also welcomed the initiative.

“NPs are increasingly being called upon to provide frontline health services across all parts of the community,” Ms Thomas said.

When announcing the new program, Mental Health and Ageing Minister Mark Butler said elderly people wish to remain in their own homes for as long as possible.

“The new nurse practitioner will improve end of life care and allow more people to die at their preferred place,” Mr Butler said.

The program will also provide new and extended career paths for nurses in the aged care sector, said Mr Butler.

“Delivering flexible training initiatives focused on improved clinical care will assist industry recruitment and retention and create attractive career paths in aged care.”

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