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Empowering Nurse Practitioners, with Lesley Salem
At this year’s CRANAplus Conference, proud Wonnarua woman and Nurse Practitioner (NP) Lesley Salem will shine a light on the challenges and opportunities facing the Nurse Practitioner workforce in remote Australia.
Proud Wonnarua woman and Nurse Practitioner Lesley Salem will be joining the line-up of inspiring keynote speakers for the 40th CRANAplus Conference on 10 – 12 October at the Cairns Convention Centre.
Lesley is currently working in private practice as a generalist and chronic disease Nurse Practitioner. Her nursing is dedicated to improving the health of those with chronic disease in rural and remote Australian communities and inspired by her dedication to improving the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and those with socio-economic disadvantages.
Over 20 years ago, Lesley became Australia’s first Indigenous Nurse Practitioner and in 2022, she was awarded Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for her significant service to nursing and to Indigenous health. Nurse Practitioners have the capacity, knowledge, and legislative support to begin increasing high-quality care to clients in remote areas of Australia, Lesley says.
“There are, however, elements of legislation, law and access, and continuing prejudice that prevent a NP from delivering care to their full scope of practice,” she says.
“To be a sustainable workforce within the remote context we need to remove barriers that impede our profession.”
“The current system… does not [always] allow the consumer, the people of Australia, to have a choice in who provides aspects of their health care.
“This is not safe practice financially or for improved health outcomes… [and may] increase mortality and morbidity and financial risk to the patient.”
Post-graduate study for nurses is well-recognised, but post-qualification study for NPs is not nursing-driven, Lesley adds.
“Expanding a scope of practice in a silo or generalist/chronic disease field is not available or coordinated,” she says.
“We participate in many medical training programs instead. Consideration of expanding scope of practice [also] needs to be a focus for NPs.”
You can hear Lesley discuss this topic in depth as a keynote speaker at the 2023 CRANAplus Conference this October in Cairns. To find out more about the speakers and program, head to cranaconference.com