The Australian College of Nursing (ACN) supports the call for mandatory and consistent COVID-19 vaccination policies for all nurses nationally.
Currently each jurisdiction has different requirements for frontline and essential workers, including nurses, for vaccination against COVID-19.
Australian College of Nursing Chief Executive Officer, Adjunct Professor Kylie Ward FACN, said that ACN was on the record supporting vaccination.
“Back in 2019, I said – as nurses, we understand that immunisation is imperative throughout the lifespan, and it is important to maintain one’s immunisations to ensure that herd immunity is kept updated within communities and that all people making immunisation decisions have access to authoritative, evidence-based information.”
Adjunct Professor Ward said nurses remain passionate about providing patient care at the bedside.
“Nurses are exhausted. I know of nurses who haven’t had a day off in over 18 months now. Like many Australians they’re probably juggling childcare and home schooling, but they are still turning up every day for their patients,” Adjunct Professor Ward said.
“Nurses want to ensure their patients are safe. They want to ensure their patients’ families are safe. They want to provide them with the best quality healthcare. They know that to do that, they have to be vaccinated.”
“I know that the overwhelming majority of nurses will be vaccinated against COVID-19, or they will get vaccinated, unless there is a medical reason for them not to do so,” Adjunct Professor Ward said.
The College supports the joint statement published in March from Aphra and the Nursing & Midwifery Board of Australia’s (NMBA) that nurses are required to practise in accordance with their standards. That is,’to actively campaign against vaccination and immunisation is to be in breach of a nurse’s licence to practice’.