Assistants in Nursing have had a role in the NSW Health system for many years as a valued part of the nursing workforce. Historically Assistants in Nursing have played a greater role in aged care facilities because their qualifications were targeted to aged care. However there is now a national qualification to train Assistants in Nursing for employment in the acute care setting.
The Healthcare Assistant Initiative
The Healthcare Assistant Initiative was implemented by NSW Health to expand and enhance the health assistant workforce, including the role of the Assistant in Nursing in the acute care environment. A process of consultation has occurred as part of this initiative to establish a consistent approach to the education, role and employment of Assistants in Nursing in the NSW public health system.
The aims of the Healthcare Assistant Initiative are to:
- improve utilisation of Assistants in Nursing in nursing teams in a ward or unit setting to support models of care and better integrate this role into team work practices;
- further develop assistant roles in supporting health professionals, and better utilise skills within the professional workforce;
- facilitate appropriate training programs for the Assistant in Nursing role, in consultation with health professionals; and
- standardise titles and position descriptions for Assistants in Nursing across the NSW public health system.
If you know someone who is interested in becoming an Assistant in Nursing, further information on training opportunities is available at Assistant in Nursing.
Resources for working with Assistants in Nursing
A number of resources for working with Assistants in Nursing have been developed as part of the Healthcare Assistant Initiative. The resources are available for download using the links below and will provide you with a range of information about working with Assistants in Nursing including information such as their agreed scope of practice, clinical skill mix considerations and supervision guidelines.
Health Service Implementation Package
The Health Service Implementation Package, Working with Assistants in Nursing in the acute care environment, is comprised of four sections covering:
- Processes to assess and evaluate the incorporation of Assistants in Nursing into clinical environments;
- An overview of the education and development of Assistants in Nursing;
- The components establishing the scope of practice of an Assistant in Nursing;
- A sample position description of an acute care Assistant in Nursing; and
- Delegation and supervision guidelines
Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia's Decision-Making Framework
The Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia approves codes and guidelines to provide guidance to the professions. These also help to clarify our views and expectations on a range of issues. For more information, see Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia - Frameworks.