What we've accomplished in 2017

I want to thank each and every one of you for your membership and support in 2017. You are our raison d’être. On behalf of the APNA Board and the entire team, we wish all our members a happy and relaxing holiday season.

This is the time when we reflect on the year gone by and 2017 has been a very big year.

It has been a big year politically, a big year in health reform and a huge year for APNA. There is a surge of nurses being attracted into primary health care disciplines, with this year witnessing one of the strongest growths in APNA membership. Our revamped website and membership system, an attractive suite of education and membership offerings, and our nurse support line have contributed to this growth.

In 2017 APNA introduced new member benefits including the option for members to move to monthly instalments for their membership renewal so that cost can be spread across the year. APNA has also secured a very competitive professional indemnity insurance product exclusively for our members. Nurses need to be sure they are adequately protected. The professional indemnity insurance product along with an education and information package helps nurses understand why you need insurance that complies with your nursing registration.

Benefits are listed on the APNA website, and I encourage you to consider your coverage.

Recognising nurses

A well supported nursing workforce is key to the success of health reforms. Nurses play a crucial role in care coordination and will be the drivers of efficient yet comprehensive primary health care. The work being done in the Health Care Homes trial sites recognises this fact.

Nurses also play the role of gatekeepers of quality and safety wherever they work. The wider nursing world, health policymakers and Primary Health Networks have showed a high level of interest in APNA’s work of supporting nurses in a variety of primary health care settings. I urge you to read about our Enhanced Nurse Clinics, Transition to Practice program and the other great APNA projects on our website.

The APNA Career and Education Framework site – MyNursingFuture.com.au – was launched in August and to date we’ve had 8,000 unique visitors explore the site.

Turn of events

This year has seen the biggest and noisiest APNA conference ever. Hobart was a great venue for the State of the Art conference with a state of the art program and speaker list, topped off by a magnificent social event at Mona – the Museum of Old and New Art. Congratulations to our APNA Nurse Award winners and to all those nurses doing extraordinary things in primary health care.

On behalf of the APNA team, I would like to extend a big thank you to recipient of the 2017 President’s Award, Samantha Moses, whose ideas, rallying colleagues and lobbying helped build the foundations of our professional association. Sadly our dear friend, 2017 Rosemary Bryant Award winner and former board member Jane Butcher, passed away a few weeks after the APNA conference. Jane was a true hero of primary health care nursing, both pioneering and championing the role in her home state of Western Australia and then nationally with Australian Medicare Local Alliance and APNA. Jane will be greatly missed.

As we know, the event that immediately precedes our conference opening is the APNA Annual General Meeting. This was a momentous year with the updating of our constitution and the move to become a company limited by guarantee.

All amendments to the constitution were unanimously accepted by the meeting attendees and proxies. I would also like to thank APNA CEO David Malone and the team for a tremendous effort with media and webinars to ensure that our members were fully informed of the constitutional changes that were proposed.

Thank you to APNA Patron Rosemary Bryant and Board Member Maurice Wrightson for leading this review.

This year APNA received the biggest number of candidates with 11 nominees for the APNA Board election. A clear  indication of the growing strength and profile of primary health care nursing and your professional organisation.

Farewell to our CEO

As we come to the end of one of the most successful years for APNA, we prepare to bid farewell to David Malone. David has been APNA’s CEO for the past two years and has helped drive many significant changes which includes helping to strengthen and build our association profile, offerings and member base as we move to a more modern, corporate organisation. David has taken a role in population health with the Victorian government, an area we know he is passionate about.

The Board expresses their thanks to David for his commitment, drive and enthusiasm in the role and his contribution to advance the cause of APNA as a strong and influential membership organisation. David is widely respected by stakeholders and members alike. I personally wish to thank David for his collegiality and support for me in my role as his President.

He has always ensured that there was adequate information and briefings leading into important government meetings.

The Board also wishes to convey their thanks to the APNA team for their enormous contributions in 2017. Behind the scenes this team has quietly strived and driven all the APNA activities we see as members.

So put your feet up team APNA for a few weeks, 2018 does not look like it will have some quiet time either. There will be new educational offerings, new workshops and many new opportunities for primary health care nursing.

Source: Primary Times Summer 2017 (Volume 17, Issue 4)

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