Nurses and Violence Taskforce - Australian College of Nursing

The Australian College of Nursing (ACN) is committed to supporting and promoting safe work environments while improving policy and processes to eradicate occupational violence against nurses. The unacceptable experience of occupational violence against nurses is widespread. ACN does not accept this risk to nurses and will work tirelessly to support the introduction of legislation and initiatives that will ensure our workplaces are safe for the nursing profession.

In 2021, ACN established the Nurses and Violence Taskforce designed to develop policy and support advocacy. That Taskforce incorporates four committees:

  1. Nurses experiencing domestic violence
  2. Nurses caring for people experiencing domestic violence
  3. Occupational violence
  4. Nurses and child protection

Each Committee is Co-Chaired by ACN’s CEO Adjunct Professor Kylie Ward FACN and a senior Nursing Leader representative.

Details of each Committee’s 2021/2022 priorities are available as below.

Key objective: The Nurses Experiencing Domestic Violence Committee will focus on understanding how nurses who are victims of domestic violence can best be supported through their workplace.

2021/2022 priorities include:

  • understanding the gaps in existing services for nurses
  • developing resources so that nurses can support their colleagues and
  • understanding how healthcare employers can create supportive environments for nurses who may be victims of domestic violence.

Key objective: The Nurses Caring for People Experiencing Domestic Violence Committee will focus on the role nurses have in supporting victims of domestic violence in the community.

2021/2022 priorities include:

  • enhanced awareness through nursing leadership
  • develop a platform for nurse education on domestic violence, and
  • identify opportunities to support nurses in caring for victim-survivors of domestic violence.

Key objective: The Occupational Violence Committee will look at how nurses are at risk of violence in their workplaces and how this can be limited.

2021/2022 priorities include:

  • national legislation to protect nurses who may practice on their own;
  • developing toolkits to shift the language on workplace violence, and
  • advancing policy positions for both governments and workplaces in preventing occupational violence against nurses.

Key objective: The Nurses and Child Protection Committee will focus on the role nurses have in supporting children experiencing child abuse and neglect.

2021/2022 priorities include:

  • develop standards on how we address jurisdictional barriers for children through nursing leadership
  • identify and develop the nurse’s role in supporting child protection services through leadership and guideline development
  • create strategies to support closing the gap through working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

Position statement

In October 2021, the Taskforce published a national position statement on occupational violence against nurses.

Read more about the Nurses and Violence Taskforce

Contact us

For more information on the Nurses and Violence Taskforce, please email officeoftheceo@acn.edu.au.