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Thursday, April 25, 2024

Call to protect enrolled nurses in aged care sector

The Aged Care Workforce Industry Council (ACWIC) has called on aged care providers to protect the important role of Enrolled Nurses (ENs) to ensure older Australians have access to high quality aged care.

Chair, Libby Lyons, said ENs are a vital part of the aged care workforce mix when it comes to providing person-centered care.

“Enrolled Nurses play a key role in the delivery of care by supporting registered nurses and spending quality time with older people,” she said.

“A key outcome of the Royal Commission was the mandating of minimum care minutes for people in the aged care system.

“ENs make a significant contribution to the care of older people. It is an important role in its own right, so it’s incumbent on aged care providers to invest in the retention and attraction of Enrolled Nurses. Anything less is short-sighted and only serves to hold back the critical reforms needed across the sector.”

Ms Lyons challenged aged care providers to keep innovating around service delivery models and to connect workforce planning to strategic business planning in order to improve the quality of care in a sustainable way.

The Council has also co-designed a Workforce Planning Tool with the sector.

“Care is about relationships, which is enabled by having a broad set of skills as part of a diverse workforce to meet the social, emotional and physical needs of older people.”

“The sector needs to create viable career pathways and meaningful aged care jobs so that, ultimately, we can sustain the sector at the standard that the community expects,” said Ms Lyons.

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