Universities Australia (UA) is the peak national body for Australia’s thirty-nine comprehensive universities. Our universities educate and train virtually all of Australia’s new-entry domestic health professionals, including nurses. They also provide ongoing education, upskilling and reskilling for existing health professionals – both domestic and international, as well as undertaking health research. We therefore take a keen interest in health and health workforce policy. UA is assisted in this work through regular consultation with our Health Professions Education Standing Group (HPESG). HPESG comprises senior university leaders across all jurisdictions and from the Councils of Deans of all health disciplines, including the Council of Deans of Nursing and Midwifery (CDNM).
Nurse education in Australian universities
Australian universities play a major role in delivering nurse education. Most member universities1 offer approved courses leading to endorsement as a Registered Nurse (RN). Many also offer courses leading to Nurse Practitioner (NP) registration. Universities also provide other approved pre and post-registration nurse specialisation qualifications and some additionally offer Enrolled Nurse (EN) education courses. However, the major focus of nursing education in Australian universities is the provision of approved degree courses leading to RN and NP registration.
Response to the Consultation
This submission is from a whole of sector perspective and is limited to those elements of the consultation draft relevant to the sector overall. UA refers the Department to CDNM’s separate submission for a more detailed response.
The consultation draft’s proposed Outcomes and Themes for Action (see Appendix A) are broadly supported and are seen as key pillars for progress. However, we see two important areas for addition as outlined below.
- Add an outcome regarding accessible and supported pathways for nurses/NPs across the career continuum
- Include university education provider representation on the Nurse Practitioner Steering Committee