COVID-19 Nurses Support Strategy

This strategy addresses the professional issues nurses are facing across the system – for our members and non-members. It focuses on information, upskilling, advocacy, support for nurses, health system reforms for professional practice and community awareness.

COVID-19

Dear Australia

The leading organisation representing the nursing profession, the Australian College of Nursing (ACN) is calling on all Australia to do their part and receive the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as they can.

Nurses have been on the frontline of the COVID-19 pandemic since its beginning and have seen its impact firsthand. You have trusted us to care for you, your friends and family and your community from childhood through to old age.

Now we ask you to trust us, your nurses, when we say: please get vaccinated.

As part of this campaign, ACN is calling on the Australian Government to do everything it can to ensure as many Australians as possible receive the COVID-19 vaccine, and that the Government takes all available measures to combat vaccine hesitancy in the community.

ACN believes the nursing voice should be front and centre in the vaccine and vaccine-hesitancy discussion, and because Australians deserve to hear expert, person-centred trusted advice from the country’s nurses.

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COVID-19 vaccination training

The Department of Health has released the mandatory online training modules for the COVID-19 vaccine rollout. Staff working for authorised COVID-19 vaccination providers are required to complete the training before they can administer the vaccines.

To access COVID-19 vaccination training, visit covid19vaccinationtraining.org.au

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Stories of nursing in 2020

To capture the stories, emotions and events of 2020, we invited ACN Distinguished Life Fellows, Fellows, Members and Students to contribute to our ACN Community Digital Mosaic.

We wanted to build a powerful image that represents what we have achieved in 2020 collectively and record the experiences of nurses that reflect the diversity of our roles, fields, and stages of our careers.

The ACN Community Digital Mosaic was another way of saying thank you to all our nurses for their contributions to this unprecedented year. You can read samples of some of the incredible stories we received below.

Click on the Mosaic image to view the many faces that have come together to create this powerful memento of 2020.

View past COVID-19 webinars

As part of our COVID-19 Nurses Support Strategy we are offering a series of webinars to support nurses during this unprecedented time. Among others, the webinars will provide you with tools to manage your well-being and will share insights into the response to COVID-19 in Victoria. The educational webinars can be counted towards your CPD hours. Follow the links below to view the recordings.

Prevent burnout webinar

Recording available
Watch on demand

COVID journey webinar

Recording available
Watch on demand

How to boost lasting resilience webinar

Recording available
Watch on demand

Register for the Nurses’ Buddy Hub to give or receive support

In these unprecedented times it is more important than ever that we support each other.

We have launched the Nurses’ Buddy Hub to allow nurses around the country to offer support to their colleagues on the COVID-19 frontline. If you would like to give back to the profession you can volunteer as a Nurse Buddy.

If you are in need of support during this challenging time, you can register as a Nurse Buddee to be connected with a Nurse Buddy that can lend an ear and provide advice on topics like:

  • promoting self-care and wellness
  • dealing with challenges in the workplace
  • coping with mental health
  • navigating undergraduate life.

Access to the Nurses’ Buddy Hub is completely free and buddy relationships are intended to be personalised and organic. You can commit as much or as little time to the relationship as you wish and can communicate through a channel that suits you, including direct messaging or video conferencing.

Nurses' Buddy Hub

Disclose your COVID-19 concerns

As the pre-eminent and national leader of the nursing profession in Australia, the Australian College of Nursing (ACN) is advocating for all Australian nurses to be able to practice in a safe working environment while responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. We would like to thank all nurses that have shared their COVID-19 experiences with us through our recent survey. To take the next step, allow us to take action and address specific practice issues, we are now calling for nurses to voice their concerns in a safe, supportive environment through our anonymous COVID-19 Disclosure Portal. We will analyse your anonymous submissions to identify specific practice problems and raise these with the appropriate facility or government if appropriate.

Read ACN CEO's open letter to Victorian nurses

ACN’s CEO Adjunct Professor Kylie Ward FACN has penned a letter of support for Victorian nurses.

In the heartfelt letter Kylie thanks nurses and raises awareness of the many challenges our profession is facing while we navigate this unprecedented health care crisis.

We encourage you to view the letter and refer to the resources on this page to stay up-to-date with relevant COVID-19 information for nurses.

If you have any feedback or need support during this challenging time please reach out to us by emailing engagement@acn.edu.au.

Open Letter for Nurses of Victoria

Stay up-to-date with COVID-19 resources for nurses

We have collated a list of educational resources* to keep nurses informed, safe and prepared to respond to the unfolding COVID-19 outbreak. We encourage you to regularly refer to the Australian Government Department of Health website for the latest news and announcements.

Information for COVID-19 vaccination providers

Updated 22 February 2021

The Information for COVID-19 vaccination providers page is now available on the Department of Health website. This page includes information for COVID-19 vaccination providers, including general practices, GP-led Respiratory Clinics and Aboriginal and Community Controlled Health Services and community pharmacies.

It includes:

The Department of Health also has a number of resources that are available on the website for you to share and promote through your own channels. These include:

COVID-19 vaccine aged care readiness toolkit

Updated 17 February 2021

Information to assist residential aged care providers plan for the COVID-19 vaccine roll-out: Access the toolkit here.

COVID-19 vaccination training

Updated 9 February 2021

The Department of Health has released the mandatory online training modules for the COVID-19 vaccine rollout. Staff working for authorised COVID-19 vaccination providers are required to complete the training before they can administer the vaccines.

To access COVID-19 vaccination training, visit covid19vaccinationtraining.org.au

General information

New information for residential aged care facilities

Australian Government Department of Health

Letter from Dr Nick Coatsworth, Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Australian Government Department of Health

Infection Control Expert Group (ICEG)

Infection Control Expert Group (ICEG) (uploaded 17 September 2020)

National COVID-19 Clinical Evidence Taskforce

National COVID-19 Clinical Evidence Taskforce (uploaded 17 September 2020)

Living guidelines (uploaded 9 April 2020)

Decision flowcharts (uploaded 9 April 2020)

Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care

Infection Prevention and Control eLearning modules (uploaded 23 March 2020)

Putting on and removing PPE fact sheet (uploaded 26 March 2020)

Infection Prevention and Control COVID-19 Personal Protective Equipment (uploaded 30 April 2020)

Special Precautions for COVID-19 Designated Zones (uploaded 30 April 2020)

COVID-19: Aged care staff infection prevention and control precautions poster (uploaded 9 December 2020)

Environmental Cleaning and Infection Prevention and Control (uploaded 9 December 2020)

Infection prevention and control Covid-19 PPE poster (uploaded 9 December 2020)

Special precautions for Covid-19 designated zones poster (uploaded 9 December 2020)

COVID-19 infection prevention and control risk management – Guidance (uploaded 9 December 2020)

Safe care for people with cognitive impairment during COVID-19(uploaded 9 December 2020)

Medicines Management COVID-19 (including position statements on medicine-related issues)(uploaded 9 December 2020)

Potential medicines to treat COVID-19 (uploaded 9 December 2020)

Break the chain of infection: Stopping COVID-19 poster (uploaded 9 December 2020)

COVID-19: Elective surgery and infection prevention and control precautions (uploaded 9 December 2020)

FAQs for clinicians on elective surgery (uploaded 9 December 2020)

FAQs for consumers on elective surgery (uploaded 9 December 2020)

FAQs on community use of face masks (uploaded 9 December 2020)

COVID-19 and face masks – Information for consumers(uploaded 9 December 2020)

Fact sheet on use of face masks in the community to reduce the spread of COVID-19 (uploaded 9 December 2020)
Now available in Easy English and 10 other community languages. The factsheet was developed to help people understand when it is important to wear a mask to reduce the risk of the spread of COVID-19, and to explain how to safely put on and remove face masks. It also reinforces the importance of staying home if you have symptoms, physical distancing, hand hygiene and cough etiquette.

Australian Government Department of Health

National Council on Aging

National Council on Aging (uploaded 17 September 2020)

Department of Health and Human Services, State Government of Victoria, Australia

Caring for Vulnerable Victorians: Medication planning and management — video and transcript (uploaded 6 October 2020)

Supporting residential emotional and psychosocial well being — video and transcript (uploaded 6 October 2020)

Protecting Vulnerable Persons — video (uploaded 6 October 2020)

Supporting worker wellbeing in aged care — video and transcript (uploaded 6 October 2020)

COVID-19 and palliative care in residential aged care — video and transcript (uploaded 6 October 2020)

Screening tool for aged care — video (uploaded 6 October 2020)

London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine

Palliative care

Caresearch Palliative care and COVID-19 resources (uploaded 14 April 2020)

PalliativeCare Australia (uploaded 17 September 2020)

Queensland Government (uploaded 17 September 2020)

WA Government (uploaded 17 September 2020)

SA Health (uploaded 17 September 2020)

PalliativeCare Victoria (uploaded 17 September 2020)

Cancer Australia (uploaded 17 September 2020)

Palliative Care Communication during COVID-19 (uploaded 20 November 2020)

Residential Aged Care: Palliative Care Resources and Planning during COVID-19 (uploaded 20 November 2020)

Home Care: Palliative Care Resources and Planning during COVID-19 (uploaded 20 November 2020)

National Health Practitioner Ombudsman

Department of Veterans' Affairs

Other jurisdictions health professional advice

Queensland (uploaded 17 September 2020)

New South Wales (uploaded 17 September 2020)

Victoria (uploaded 17 September 2020)

Tasmania (uploaded 17 September 2020)

South Australia (uploaded 17 September 2020)

Western Australia (uploaded 17 September 2020)

Northern Territory (uploaded 17 September 2020)

ACT (uploaded 17 September 2020)

COVID-19 Australian and New Zealand research

COVID-19 international research

National Institute for Health and care Excellence (NICE) COVID-19 Guidance and advice list (uploaded 17 September 2020)

Cochrane resources and news (uploaded 17 September 2020)

Cochrane’s COVID-19 Study Register (uploaded 6 October 2020)

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) (uploaded 17 September 2020)

Patient Safety Network (uploaded 17 September 2020)

The COVID-19-COS project (uploaded 6 October 2020)

JBI

JBI COVID-19 Special Collection (uploaded 17 September 2020)

National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance (NCRIS)

COVID-19 Vaccine development landscape (uploaded 14 January 2021)

National Asthma Council Australia

* All resources are relevant as of their upload date. Due to the dynamic nature of this rapidly unfolding situation we encourage you to regularly check the individual information sources for any further updates.

Look after your personal and professional well-being

It is an unprecedented time and the uncertainty about so many elements of COVID-19 is a reality for many of us. It is understandable that emotional distress, even among those not directly exposed to the disease, is significant. There are many issues to contend with at once – changes in your workplace, care arrangements for family and children, financial uncertainty and more.

We understand what you are going through and we are here to help. We have collated a range of self care resources to guide you through this difficult time and help you safeguard your own mental health and well-being.

Read nurses' COVID-19 stories on NurseClick

Engage in COVID-19 discussions with like-minded nurses

We have created a dedicated ‘COVID-19 Forum’ on our online engagement platform neo to allow ACN Fellows and Members to engage in discussions and support each other during this challenging time.

You can access neo via neo.acn.edu.au or by downloading the ‘ACN-neo’ app from your app store.

Once you have logged in to neo using your membership login details you will find ‘COVID-19 Forum’ under the ‘Forums’ drop-down menu. If you are not yet a member of the ACN tribe and would like to join to connect with nurses around the country you can complete the online membership application form.

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Find out about ACN’s COVID-19 Workforce Solutions Expert Advisory Group

COVID-19 Workforce Solutions Expert Advisory Group logo

ACN has formed the COVID-19 Workforce Solutions Expert Advisory Group which is dedicated to removing barriers to nurses delivering care in the community and enable funding and resources that will allow nurses to provide care for people in their homes and via telehealth. Learn how the group are fighting for nurses.

View ACN's immunisation policy publications

ACN considers that immunisation is a significant preventive health measure and that nurses play an important role in delivering vaccinations and advocating for immunisation programs to the ongoing health of all Australians from birth to old age. It is therefore crucial that nurses are equipped with the knowledge and expertise to fulfil their legislative and professional requirements in relation to immunisation advocacy and when delivering vaccines within their scope of practice.

To find our more please view our Nurses, Immunisation and Health Position Statement and Discussion Paper.

Become a registered immuniser

ACN’s Immunisation for Health Practitioners course aims to equip health practitioners with the essential attributes to be immunisation advocates and promote immunisation uptake nationally. The course is offered online with flexible self-paced learning. It can be completed in just three weeks if studied full time or can be completed part time over a maximum of 120 days.

This course is suitable for registered and enrolled nurses, midwives, pharmacists and other allied health workers.

All health professionals applying to enrol in the course must confirm eligibility to immunise independent of medical officers after completing this course by checking health policy in their relevant state or territory. To apply or find out more visit the course page.

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