APNA goes from strength to strength

By Ken Griffin, APNA CEO

Source: APNA Primary Times Winter 2022 (Volume 22, Issue 1)


Remember when you turned 21 and the world seemed full of possibility, and anything was possible? That’s how it feels to be a part of the APNA team right now. 

APNA has more members, the largest team and the greatest presence in media and government than at any other time over the past 21 years.  

After almost 3 years of COVID, we’ve begun bringing nurses together again. The first of the APNA Conference Roadshow events in Melbourne had so much energy and excitement. It reminded us that the best work of PHC nurses is often done behind a closed door. When we bring nurses together, good things happen. If you haven’t got your ticket yet, don’t miss the chance to reconnect, learn and re-energise when the Roadshow comes to your part of the country. 

The APNA team is optimistic about the future. It’s taken 21 years to establish a confident, capable organisation to represent and support PHC nurses and we can see clearly that we have the momentum to bring about change. 

It’s been 21 years since APNA was founded by Sam Moses. But the story begins before then. 

Prior to 2001, PHC nurses were poorly utilised, and unrecognised by the health system and the policy-makers that led it. Without a clear scope of practice, adequate quality training or a voice to government, there was no-one to build capacity, provide on-the-ground support or bring about change through advocacy. Nurses in primary health care recognised this, but founding an organisation is a daunting task. It took years to gather the support, make contacts, get agreement and find funding. 

The nature of any organisation in its early years is to take small steps as its resources allow. Now, we are at a point where we are able to see needs in PHC and address them directly through advocacy or direct support.  

A good example is the establishment of the APNA Student Nurse Placement Program. Established during COVID when students were at risk of not graduating because they were missing out on clinical placements, APNA recognised an opportunity to provide placements in PHC instead of hospitals and to give these students a positive experience of PHC.  

The program began with 140 placements in 2020. This year we expect to place 1,000 students.  

 

"We didn’t ask for permission. We didn’t wait for government funding. We saw a need and an opportunity for PHC and created a solution."

 

APNA wasn’t funded to do this. We didn’t ask for permission. We didn’t wait for government funding. We saw a need and an opportunity for PHC and created a solution. Thanks to all the APNA members who have supervised a nursing student, and if you want to get involved, give the APNA team a call. 

As a ‘young adult’ organisation, we will increasingly take more proactive steps to support you, bring through the next generation of nurses and shape the health system.  

Today, 21 years on from the founding of APNA, we are one of the largest nursing organisations in Australia. But our focus remains solely on supporting you and reducing the barriers to bringing about a healthier Australia. 

Thanks for your support – we’re looking forward to doing even more in the next 21 years. 

The Australian Primary Health Care Nurses Association acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respects to elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.


© Copyright 2024 Australian Primary Health Care Nurses Association (APNA). All rights reserved. MRM by Bond Software.

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