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Release of The National Rural and Remote Nursing Generalist Framework heralds new era of preparedness for remote area nurses

27 Mar 2023

Mem­bers of the Frame­work’s Steer­ing Com­mit­tee at the launch

The Assis­tant Min­is­ter for Men­tal Health and Sui­cide Pre­ven­tion & Rur­al and Region­al Health, the Hon. Emma McBride, has today launched the Nation­al Rur­al and Remote Nurs­ing Gen­er­al­ist Frame­work 2023 – 2027 at Par­lia­ment House, in a move CRANAplus recog­nis­es as an impor­tant mile­stone for the remote area nurs­ing profession.

The Frame­work defines the unique con­text of prac­tice and capa­bil­i­ties required by rur­al and remote area nurs­es, enabling reg­is­tered nurs­es who work or plan to work in rur­al and remote areas to assess their skill set and plan their pro­fes­sion­al development.

CRANAplus Chief Exec­u­tive Offi­cer Kather­ine Isbis­ter was a lead­ing mem­ber of the Framework’s Steer­ing Com­mit­tee, com­posed of peak indus­try bod­ies and led by Nation­al Deputy Com­mis­sion­er for Rur­al Health, Nurs­ing and Mid­wifery, Adjunct Pro­fes­sor Shel­ley Nowlan.

Advanced gen­er­al­ist skills are essen­tial in remote areas, and the Frame­work high­lights the need for remote area nurs­es to be pro­fi­cient in cul­tur­al safe­ty, pri­ma­ry health care, pub­lic health, and acute care, while advo­cat­ing for social jus­tice and health equi­ty,” Ms Isbis­ter says.

Lim­it­ed resources, staffing and clin­i­cal sup­port, and the increased bur­den of dis­ease faced in remote Aus­tralia, make the case for the gen­er­al­ist capa­bil­i­ties out­lined in the Framework.

The Frame­work pro­vides nurs­es with a tool for self-assess­ment, enabling them to work mean­ing­ful­ly with edu­ca­tors and men­tors to build their capabilities. 

Nurs­es fre­quent­ly enquire with CRANAplus on how to tran­si­tion to remote health prac­tice and we will now be able to use this tool in con­junc­tion with nurs­es to iden­ti­fy areas for fur­ther growth.

Impor­tant­ly, the Frame­work is also a tool that employ­ers, edu­ca­tors, gov­ern­ments, and peak bod­ies can use to assess their cur­rent pro­grams, con­sid­er scope of prac­tice and tai­lor their pro­fes­sion­al devel­op­ment opportunities.

The Frame­work is a mean­ing­ful step towards a struc­tured and wide­ly avail­able remote area nurs­ing path­way, on par with the rur­al gen­er­al­ist path­ways for med­i­cine and allied health.

Here at CRANAplus, we will be embed­ding the Frame­work into our Remote Area Nurs­ing Path­way Pro­gram, which we launched in 2022, to ensure it sup­ports pro­fes­sion­al devel­op­ment across all domains of remote health practice.”

Deputy Chair of the CRANAplus Board of Direc­tors John Wright says the Frame­work means that Nurs­es will no longer have to enter at the deep end.”

Rur­al and remote prac­tice is a dif­fer­ent world and while stan­dard nurs­ing train­ing is great for the city, it’s not right for the remote set­ting, where gen­er­al­ism is key.

Pre­vi­ous­ly, new remote nurs­es have some­times had to learn from expe­ri­ence and on the go. Now, new nurs­es can know what to expect. Pre­pared­ness is no longer a ques­tion of being lucky enough to have a qual­i­ty mentor.

The Frame­work will allow peo­ple to go in bet­ter pre­pared, increas­ing their sat­is­fac­tion in this bril­liant career path, as well as their abil­i­ty to improve remote health.

Rur­al and remote nurs­ing isn’t some­thing you do for a few years, before return­ing to an urban set­ting. It’s a high­ly ful­fill­ing, high­ly spe­cialised career and this Frame­work recog­nis­es that.

It recog­nis­es that clin­i­cal prac­tice and cul­tur­al­ly safe prac­tice go hand in hand, and how impor­tant it is to go from being task-focused, to hav­ing a client focus.”

The Frame­work can be accessed here.

Assis­tant Min­is­ter for Health and Aged Care The Hon Ged Kear­ney MP; CRANAplus CEO Kather­ine Isbis­ter; Deputy Nation­al Rur­al Health Com­mis­sion­er (Nurs­ing and Mid­wifery) Adjunct Pro­fes­sor Shel­ley Nowl­an; and SA Health’s Chief Nurs­ing and Mid­wifery Offi­cer, Adjunct Pro­fes­sor Jen­nifer Hurley

Kather­ine Isbis­ter presents dur­ing a pan­el dis­cus­sion led by Adjunct Pro­fes­sor Shel­ley Nowl­an and also fea­tur­ing Direc­tor, James Cook Uni­ver­si­ty Cen­tral Queens­land Cen­tre for Rur­al and Remote Health and CRANAplus Fel­low Sabi­na Knight, and Act­ing CATSI­NaM CEO Ali Drummond

Deputy Nation­al Rur­al Health Com­mis­sion­er (Nurs­ing and Mid­wifery) Adjunct Pro­fes­sor Shel­ley Nowl­an; Assis­tant Min­is­ter Men­tal Health and Sui­cide Pre­ven­tion & Rur­al and Region­al Health, The Hon Emma McBride MP; and CRANAplus CEO Kather­ine Isbister

The Hon Ged Kear­ney MP; Deputy Chair of the CRANAplus Board of Direc­tors, John Wright; and The Hon Emma McBride MP

More about CRANAplus

CRANAplus is the peak pro­fes­sion­al body for the remote and iso­lat­ed health work­force. Our not-for-prof­it, mem­ber­ship-based organ­i­sa­tion pro­vides edu­ca­tion, men­tal health sup­port, career sup­port, and pro­fes­sion­al ser­vices to nurs­es, mid­wives, and oth­er health pro­fes­sion­als to ensure the deliv­ery of safe, high-qual­i­ty pri­ma­ry health­care to remote and iso­lat­ed areas of Australia.

Media Con­tact
Sam Richards
Com­mu­ni­ca­tions & Mem­ber­ship Man­ag­er
(07) 4047 6446