The chance to connect and learn from colleagues across the country led the focus of the 2022 National Nursing Forum (NNF) in Darwin, Northern Territory from August 17-19.
The 2022 NNF was the first in-person forum since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic and gave nurses an opportunity to hear from keynote speakers, engage with presentations from specialties all across nursing, and connect and unwind with their fellow colleagues from across Australia.
Nurses lead the way
Across the three days, nurses got to hear unique perspectives from a prestigious line-up of Keynote Speakers on the theme ‘Nursing Leadership Unmasked’.
Day One saw presentations from a packed line-up including 2021 Health Minister’s Award for Nursing Trailblazers winner Sonia Martin MACN and ACN CEO Adjunct Professor Kylie Ward FACN.
In the afternoon, the 2022 Oration was presented by Professor Sandy Middleton FACN, who shared her experiences working in stroke research implementation. Professor Middleton called for more nursing researchers within the profession to counter the 18-year transition from research to practice.
Day Two led the day with a Ministerial Address from Australian Greens leader and Federal Member for Melbourne Adam Bandt MP, followed by Group Captain Kath Stein FACN, and Commonwealth Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer Adjunct Professor Alison McMillan MACN.
The final Day led with political leaders in Shadow Minister for Health and Aged Care Anne Ruston MP and Minister for Health and Aged Care Mark Butler MP, Australian Digital Health Agency CEO Amanda Cattermole, and NT Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer Mish Hill FACN.
Photo: Acting Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer for the Northern Territory Mish Hill FACN presents at #NNF2022. Photo by Pam Hutchinson.
Sharing on-the ground perspectives
Nurses from across Australia got the chance to bring their research from their local areas to the NNF and connect with their peers.
In four sessions across the three days, 70 projects were presented to the nursing community on a wide array of subjects, including trauma-informed training, postgraduate online discussion forms, and nurse-led protocols in specialist areas.
These sessions were divided into four areas: cultural change, innovation, quality and safety and Workforce Sustainability, and sessions will be available as a recording for attendees in person and online after the NNF.
In between the learning, nurses had the chance to unwind and connect with new and familiar colleagues through lunches, workshop sessions, and a Gala Dinner under the stars of the Top End.
These sessions allowed nurses to network, share their insights on what they’d learned, and collaborate for implementation of research in their workplace.
For early-career nurses such as Stage Four Emerging Nurse Leader Aya Torbey MACN, the NNF provided an opportunity to access insights she would not reach otherwise.
“This was my first time attending and I was blown away by the inspirational and thought-provoking discussions,” she told ACN. “The ACN Tribe is filled with such positive energy and I will be back next year!”
Photo: Matilda Pascoe and Emily Hunter addressing nurses at the NNF Gala Dinner. Photo by Pam Hutchinson.
Recognising our nursing leaders
The 2022 NNF also recognised several nurses who went above and beyond through the ACN Foundation Awards, investiture of the ACN Fellows and the 2022 Health Minister’s Award for Nursing Trailblazers.
One of these nurses was ACN Disaster Faculty Chair Alison Hutton FACN, who formally received the 2021 ACN Research Award for her research into supporting young people’s health at music festivals.
In addition to the 23 ACN Fellows who were inducted across the 2021/2022 period, Emeritus Professor Glenn Gardner FACN (DLF) was inducted as a Distinguished Life Fellow for her extensive contributions to the nursing profession.
Assistant Minister for Health and Aged Care Ged Kearney MP also made a surprise appearance to announce Claire Lane MACN as the 2022 Health Minister’s Award for Nursing Trailblazers. Claire Lane MACN was recognised for her work with Save Our Supplies to repurpose expired medical supplies.
Thank you to everyone who attended the 2022 National Nursing Forum! If you were unable to attend or want to revisit all the major announcements, you can join our liveblog, with sessions available for Day One, Two and Three. ACN looks forward to seeing you all on August 9-11 in Adelaide for the 2023 National Nursing Forum.