Acknowledging nurses in the community

High profile nurse leaders from around the country have thanked nurses in our communities in a heart-felt video. We will also be releasing a series of videos this week featuring nurses that work in the community. Tune in to hear them share their personal perspectives of nursing in the community.

Acclaimed primary health care nurse leader Professor Elizabeth Halcomb FACN is the special guest on a Nursing in the Community Week themed episode of The ACN Podcast with Ben Jenkins MACN. Give the episode a listen to learn about her journey throughout the nursing profession and advice on why graduate nurses should choose to work in primary health care.

Get involved

Nursing in the Community Week aims to raise awareness on how nurses can support you to stay safe at home, and their impact on the well-being of individuals and those in local communities.

Registrations for our Nursing in the Community Week awareness pack have now closed.

If you would like to view our infographics poster please download here.

Download our awareness pack filled with useful resources including an infographics poster and social media banners



How can I access nursing in the community?

As a member of the Australian public you have a choice, why not ask the question


Profiling our nurses in the community

Join the ACN Community & Primary Health Care Community of Interest

Connect with other nurses in the community and stay up-to-date with the latest news by becoming a part of the Community and Primary Health Care Community of Interest (COI). Members can join the COI via neo. If you are currently not yet a member and are interested in joining the COI, please contact the ACN membership team on 1800 061 660 or

You can also find out more about COIs on our website.

Meet the Leadership Team

Kitty Hutchison MACN
Kitty Hutchison MACN

About me

Kitty Hutchison has been working in community nursing for over twenty years. Her early roles were in post-acute care and coordination of care. For the past ten years she has worked in nurse education roles supporting and enhancing practice of community nurse clinicians and is currently developing a Transition to Community Nursing Practice program in Queensland. Kitty believes that nurses in the community are a valuable resource in bridging the ever-increasing gap between primary health care and acute care services in our Australian health care system. She is committed to supporting nurses in the community to maintain high standards of practice and share their innovation and experience confidently with others.


Adjunct Professor Anna Shepherd FACN (Hon)
Adjunct Professor Anna Shepherd FACN (Hon)
Deputy Chair

About me

Anna is the Executive Chair of Regal Health, an established provider of Community Nursing, Allied Health, Life Services & Case Management. Anna led Regal in achieving accreditation with the Australian Council on Healthcare Standards in 1994, being the first private primary healthcare service in Australia to be accredited.

Widely recognised for her passion, commitment and advocacy, in 2018 Anna was recognised as an Honorary Fellow with the Australian College of Nursing (ACN). She was instrumental in approaching ACN to create the initial Community & Primary Health Care Nursing Week initiative.

Anna has been involved in building community through her successful Wisdom Exchange, and is consulted on issues relating to Primary Healthcare, Aged Care & Governance locally, nationally and globally.

Anna has developed innovative and sustainable business models and initiatives that support the community both from a service perspective and through philanthropic activities around the world in healthcare, the arts, and indigenous projects.

Anna is committed to connecting communities and setting an example for business in finding sustainable solutions that empower people to be independent, connected and valued in society.


Suzanne Volejnikova-Wenger MACN
Suzanne Volejnikova-Wenger MACN
Communication Coordinator

About me

Since her early nursing days in Switzerland, Suzanne has loved caring for people in their own homes and helping them stay as independent as possible. She was involved in growing the innovative National Seniors’ Organisation in Prague and, after moving back to Australia completed her Bachelor, Honours and Masters degrees in Nursing. Suzanne is currently undertaking her PhD studies alongside working as a community nurse and teaching undergraduate nursing courses at the University of the Sunshine Coast. Alongside her current mature-aged nursing journey, Suzanne has been an Emerging Nurse Leader for the last four years with the Australian College of Nursing and is the current Communication Coordinator of this COI.


Alan Merritt
Alan Merritt MACN
Secretariat Support

About me

Alan Merritt is a registered nurse with a wide range of experience in varied nursing, health care and regulation contexts. Alan has been a clinician, manager and educator in community nursing, and an academic in the tertiary education sector. He has extensive experience in the governance of nursing and midwifery as a past member of the Australian Capital Territory Board of the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia, and through the accreditation of Nursing and Midwifery education programs. He is currently the Manager of Medical School Assessments at the Australian Medical Council where he oversees the accreditation of medical schools for the Australian and New Zealand Context. Alan’s research interests include teaching and learning, nursing in the community, and exploring the expression of artistry and tacit knowledge in practice.


Free webinars during Nursing in the Community Week

COVID-19: Primary Health Care Nurses’ perceptions of care from crisis to recovery, preliminary findings

Hosted by: SIGMA, in partnership with the University of Wollongong, University of Notre Dame, University of Technology Sydney and Western Sydney University

Date: Tuesday 15 September 2020

Time: 1-2pm AEST

Speakers: Prof Elizabeth Halcomb FACN (Professor of Primary Health Care Nursing – University of Wollongong, Sigma Oceania Regional Coordinator), Dr Christine Ashley FACN, Ms Sharon James (PhD Candidate – University of Wollongong, Sigma Xi Omicron at-Large Primary Health Care Lead)

Nursing in the Community Week Connection Forum

Hosted by: ACN Community and Primary Health Care Community of Interest Leadership Team

Date: Wednesday 16 September 2020

Time: 5-6pm AEST

Speaker: Kitty Hutchison MACN (Chair), Adjunct Professor Anna Shepherd FACN (Hon) (Deputy Chair), Suzanne Volejnikova-Wenger MACN (Communication Coordinator) and Alan Merritt MACN (Secretariat Support)

Primary Health Care Nursing careers you never knew existed!

Hosted by: University of Wollongong School of Nursing

Date: Thursday 17 September 2020

Time: 12:30–1:30pm AEST

Speaker: Robbie Bedbrook MACN


3 days ago
Thank you for sharing Jacqui ♥️ Francis is delivering exceptional CARE it’s wonderful to see this across the continuum. #exceptionalcare #nurseswhereyouneedthem
1 week ago
Wow, what a week it has been! Thank you to everyone who contributed to ACN's Nursing in the Community Week and helped us bring attention to this dynamic area of nursing! With thanks to the support of our partner
@Regal_Health #NursesWhereYouNeedThem
SuzanneRN2 photo

Interested in further study?

ACN is committed to providing high quality evidence-based education to ensure nurses are prepared with the knowledge and skills required to practice in a primary health care setting.

We offer a Graduate Certificate in Community and Primary Health Care Nursing, and a Graduate Certificate in Child and Family Health Nursing.

There are also a range of short courses available.

Stay up-to-date with your profession

Want to be kept in the loop about other exciting opportunities for nurses?

Subscribe to ACN’s free quarterly eNewsletter to find out how to stay connected with your profession and advance your career.

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With thanks to the support of our official partner, Regal Home Health

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