Calls for Nurse Practitioners to be utilised in COVID vaccination roll-out

30 Jul 2021

A COALI­TION of peak nurs­ing organ­i­sa­tions is call­ing on Nation­al Cab­i­net today to include Australia’s high­ly-skilled nurs­ing prac­ti­tion­er (NP) work­force in the COVID vac­ci­na­tion roll-out.

Nurs­es deliv­er the major­i­ty of vac­cines in Aus­tralia and NPs are the most high­ly skilled and edu­cat­ed nurs­es in the clin­i­cal nurs­ing work­force. NPs have the qual­i­fi­ca­tions and exper­tise to diag­nose, order inves­ti­ga­tions and pre­scribe med­i­cines. They are recog­nised as being able to lead a health team in exact­ly the same way as a doc­tor can and are active­ly engaged with a devel­oped client base in their communities

NPs ser­vice many of the under­served and iso­lat­ed pop­u­la­tions across the coun­try, but are blocked from sup­port­ing the COVID 19 vac­ci­na­tion pro­gram, after being side­lined by the Mor­ri­son Gov­ern­ment. The coali­tion of peak nurs­ing organ­i­sa­tions is ready to imme­di­ate­ly sup­port gov­ern­ment efforts to iden­ti­fy and recruit nurs­es and oper­a­tionalise a nurse-prac­ti­tion­er-led response to the COVID-19 vac­ci­na­tion roll-out.

Cur­rent­ly, the Aus­tralian pop­u­la­tion over 18 num­bers 19.01 Mil­lion. Of these 14.1% are ful­ly vac­ci­nat­ed and a fur­ther 17.7% have had their first dose. As a nation, we must have at least 80% of the pop­u­la­tion vac­ci­nat­ed to return to nor­mal life’. This can be achieved soon­er if NPs are includ­ed in the vac­ci­na­tion roll-out.

The peak nurs­ing organ­i­sa­tions have urged Nation­al Cab­i­net to include a NP-led vac­ci­na­tion mod­el to accel­er­ate the vac­ci­na­tion roll-out:

  • 250 Vac­cine Strike Teams spread through­out the coun­try — Nurs­ing homes, sta­di­ums, con­ven­tion cen­tres, uni­ver­si­ties, rur­al and remote sites;
  • Each team led by 1 Nurse Prac­ti­tion­er with 10 Nurs­es and 3 admin­is­tra­tive staff; 
  • Each nurse vac­ci­nat­ing 15 patients an hour approx­i­mate­ly (based on 50% effi­cien­cy of a nurse-led school vac­ci­na­tion program);
  • Each strike team can vac­ci­nate 1200 patients per day based on an 8 hr day; 
  • 250 teams will vac­ci­nate 300,000 patients per day; 
  • 1,500,000 patients vac­ci­nat­ed every week, based on a 5 day work­ing week. 

Under the plan, the time for the entire Aus­tralian pop­u­la­tion hav­ing a first dose would be 8.9 weeks. The time for the entire Aus­tralian pop­u­la­tion hav­ing the sec­ond dose is 10.8 weeks (plus 1 month for Pfiz­er and 3 months for AZ).

Some phar­ma­cies are already recruit­ing NPs to over­see their local vac­ci­na­tion pro­grams. The use of NPs in the vac­ci­na­tion roll-out is vital to pro­tect Aus­tralians from COVID-19

We have the nurs­es, we have the exper­tise. Include us in your roll­out Min­is­ter Hunt and we will pro­vide your solution.

ANMF media con­tact: Richard Lenar­duzzi 0411 254 390

CRANAplus media con­tact 0419 359 325

ACNP media con­tact – Leanne Boase 0407 528 288

APNA con­tact – Karen Booth 0411 898 884

CATSI­NaM – Roianne West 0447 924 654

ACORNRebec­ca East 0406751135

Joint media release autho­rised by Annie But­ler, ANMF Fed­er­al Sec­re­tary. 1/365 Queen St, Melbourne