Recently, the Australian College of Nursing (ACN)’s 307 Immunisation for Health Practitioners course became the first in Australia to be accredited by Health Education Services Australia (HESA). This is a significant achievement as ACN has always advocated for the vital contribution nurses make to delivering immunisation programs as an important preventative health measure for the Australian community.
HESA is a new subsidiary of the Australian Nursing & Midwifery Accreditation Council (ANMAC) designed to standardise and nationalise immunisation education in Australia by accrediting courses. This will allow for a national and consistent approach to National Immunisation Program (NIP) vaccination and epidemic-related planning.
ACN President Christine Duffield FACN accepted the award from Clinical Professor and Managing Director of HESA, Fiona Stoker, this week on behalf of the organisation and our Education team.
ACN considers that the role nurses play in delivering vaccinations and advocating for immunisation programs is pivotal to the ongoing health of all Australians from birth to old age. It has been shown that advice and guidance from a health care professional (such as a Registered Nurse) is highly influential in decisions to vaccinate, especially for adults (Menzies et al 2017). Nurses constitute the majority of the health care workforce, and as such are well placed to encourage an uptake in vaccination, particularly in Australia’s regional, rural and remote communities.
Nurses are in a prime position to offer opportunistic vaccination in health care encounters, including ensuring the NIP and catch-up vaccination continues during the current COVID-19 pandemic. This will help to prevent possible outbreaks of vaccine preventable diseases from decreased herd immunity.
Robert I Menzies, Julie Leask, Jenny Royle and C Raina MacIntyre (2017) Vaccine myopia: adult vaccination also needs attention Med J Aust; 206: 6, 238-239. || doi: 10.5694/mja16.00811, Retrieved 19 June 2019, from https://www.mja.com.au/journal/2017/206/6/vaccine-myopia-adult-vaccination-also-needs-attention