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2 in 5 Primary Health Care Nurses at risk of leaving Primary Health Care

The Australian Primary Health Care Nurses Association (APNA) 2 mins read

The Australian Primary Health Care Nurses Association (APNA) will meet with Members of Parliament in Canberra this week to discuss solutions and help fix a range of workforce issues which have the potential to cause an exodus of nurses from the country’s primary health care sector in the next five years.

The annual APNA National Workforce Survey found that 37% of primary health care nurses and midwives are at risk of leaving primary health care in the next two to five years.

APNA Chief Executive Officer, Ken Griffin, said: “We’re obviously extremely concerned that only 2in5of the current workforce say they’ll keep working in primary health care - and the implications that has for health care in Australia.

“At a time of chronic health workforce shortages, we have highly skilled nurses with an average of 21 years’ experience undertaking administrative tasks which could be undertaken by a less qualified employee. Nurses want to do what they are trained for and be working to their full scope of practice to ensure Australians get quality care in their community.

Mr Griffin said the APNA survey showed:

  • Just 37% of respondents were moderately or very satisfied with their remuneration;

  • Only 45% of respondents were moderately or very satisfied with the recognition they

    receive for their work;

  • Just over half (54%) were moderately or very satisfied with the amount of freedom to

    choose their own method of work.

    APNA President Karen Booth added: “Nurses are valued, trusted and skilled but are chronically underutilised at a time of severe workforce shortage. That is why the Scope of Practice Report draft final report and recommendations, due in the coming months, will be crucial ensuring the work undertaken by highly skilled nurses is meaningful, well paid, and recognises the importance of nurses to the community.”

    APNA Survey, Members’ Comments:

    ‘There is a lack of understanding about my capabilities and an honouring of them.’

    ‘Medicare not allowing me to vaccinate without a Dr popping their head in (I'm a nurse immunizer).’

    ‘No time to do what I can do well because I am doing admin tasks.’

About us:
  1. About the Australian Primary Health Care Nurses Association (APNA)

    APNA represents over 96,000 primary health care nurses in Australia working outside of hospitals, including those employed in general practice, schools, aged care facilities, correctional facilities and in wider community settings.

Contact details:
  1. Media contact:

  2. Sue Bellino 0400 188 825

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