Australia’s nationally and internationally renowned nurse leaders and their colleagues will come together at this month’s National Nursing Forum (NNF) to lend their voice, expertise and research to improving the health and wellbeing of all Australians.

The theme for this year’s NNF is ‘Nursing Now — The Power of Policy’. Nursing Now is an international campaign which seeks to empower nurses to take their place at the heart of tackling 21st Century health challenges. Empowering nurses will have the triple impact of improving health, achieving gender equality and building stronger economies.

“When I am travelling the country, speaking with nurses, one issue that comes up consistently is that our profession is wilfully ignored and even locked out of health care discourse and policy making,” Australian College of Nursing CEO, Kylie Ward shared.

“Our profession has decided not to meekly sit on the side lines waiting to be asked for our ideas or views. Nurses all around the country are proactively transforming health and aged care in Australia.

“The NNF provides the opportunity for our profession to come together to share their ideas and solutions so that others will benefit.

“Last month, the Australian press reported on research that proved our health system favours the wealthy and well-educated. Nurses are the advocates for our communities and continually push for equal access to health care for all.

“Including nurses in policy making, health care teams, and enabling nurses to work to their full scope of practice will significantly diminish the health care disadvantage experienced by many Australians, particularly the elderly, people with complex chronic conditions and people with mental illness.

“Some of the challenges our NNF presenters are effectively tackling include care during natural disasters, workforce shortages, emergency waiting times, improving health literacy, and innovative ways of addressing health issues such as health care for our ageing population. Providing nurses access to existing funding models that we are currently excluded from will support improved health care for all Australians.”

The Australian College of Nursing National Nursing Forum runs from 21-23 August in Hobart, Tasmania. A full program is available at: www.acn.edu.au/events/national-nursing-forum-2019.

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