The Australian College of Nursing (ACN) commends the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Health, Aged Care and Sport for acknowledging the important and central role nurses have in providing care to older Australians.

“ACN welcomes the release of the Report on the Quality of Care in Residential Aged Care Facilities in Australia,” Australian College of Nursing CEO Adjunct Professor Kylie Ward FACN said.

“Nurses spend more time with residents than any other health professional. The nursing profession has a wide-reaching presence and public trust and nurses govern the majority of care in residential aged care facilities.

“ACN has long advocated for one Registered Nurse (RN), at a minimum, to be available and onsite at all times in residential aged care facilities. RNs provide frontline leadership in the delivery of nursing care and in the coordination, delegation and supervision of care provided by enrolled nurses (ENs) and Assistants in Nursing (AIN) (however titled).

“It is pleasing to see this position supported by the Standing Committee on Health, Aged Care and Sport, and recognition of the value nurses have in aged care.”

A total of 14 recommendations have been provided as a result of the Inquiry’s findings which support the investments that the Australian Government has committed to improving the aged care sector. In addition, the report also advises that decisions regarding staffing requirements should be based on “the correlation between standards of care (including complaints and findings of elder abuse) and staffing mixes.”

“ACN welcomes the Committee’s strategic approach to reforming the aged care system in skills mix modelling and workforce planning, rather than recommending quick fixes,” said Adjunct Professor Ward.

“Implementation of the recommendations from this report, and the previously released Tune Report, the Carnell Paterson Report, and Aged Care Workforce Strategy Taskforce Report, should ensure that patient health outcomes are better prioritised.

“ACN would also like to see AINs (however titled) become regulated and contribute to a nationally consistent practice framework that clearly defines the AIN scope of practice, practice standards, and codes of ethics and conduct and a minimum formal education requirement.

“Aged care in this country must continue to be a priority. As a profession, nurses want safe and appropriate care to all vulnerable communities, including the elderly living in residential aged care facilities.”

To read the Report on the Quality of Care in Residential Aged Care Facilities in Australia click here.

To read ACN’s Position Statement on the role of registered nurses in residential aged care facilities click here.

To read ACN’s Position Statement on Assistants in Nursing click here.

1 Comment

  1. The current position statement on Assistants in Nursing needs to be rethought because, currently, most direct care in residential aged care facilities is provided by this level of worker and the statement does not reflect the current role requirement and needs of the resident population, i.e. “The provision of care by an AIN is considered appropriate in circumstances where the person receiving care has few co-morbidities and whose health status is stable”.
    Education, training and development across the RACF workforce needs urgent attention as does scope of practice.

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