ANMJ Featured Story

Editorial Annie Butler ANMF A/Federal Secretary

Friday 23rd February, 2018

With every passing moment cracks in the aged care system widen leaving vulnerable older Australians in an increasingly deplorable position.

Last month alone research revealed some nursing home providers were spending a measly $6.08 a day for three meals per resident. The study also found that last year half of aged care residents suffered from malnutrition, with nursing home providers cutting their spend on food by 30 cents per resident.

Recently, I joined nurses, carers and members of the public concerned about the state of aged care at an aged care reform rally in South Australia.

On the steps of the state’s Parliament House I spoke about the urgent need for more staff in aged care and emphasised the need for transparency and accountability in all aged care facilities to ensure funding is directed into care rather than providers’ profits.

As I declared my position, my argument resonated with the passionate crowd who want aged care fixed as a matter of priority so their loved ones can get the care they deserve.

Speaking out and uniting as a collective was a powerful force. The energy that reverberated from the crowd in Adelaide that day was nothing less than awe-inspiring and will go a long way towards putting politicians on notice to fix aged care.

It’s imperative we keep this momentum alive. It is our responsibility as nurses, carers, midwives and concerned family members to band together and speak out for older Australians until this crisis is resolved.

This month’s journal contains stories about aged care which clearly show the extent the system has reached. It is at breaking point. I urge you to read these accounts to gain a better understanding of what the sector is really facing.

ANMJ’s feature this month looks at expanded prescribing roles for nurses and midwives. Late last year the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA) released a discussion paper and held a symposium on expanding the endorsement of registered nurses and midwives to supply medications under protocol. The proposed standard has gained strong support from the clinical, research and management sectors. The NMBA and the Australia and New Zealand Council and Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officers are now working together to facilitate the development of potential future models of prescribing, and these are detailed in the feature.

The ANMF supports this initiative. Enhancing nurses and midwives’ roles to prescribe gives opportunity to improve access to medicines and better health outcomes for much of the community.

ANMJ news this month includes a story about early career nurse Thomas West who is about to start his transition program at Sydney’s St Vincent’s Hospital.

Thomas shares his feelings and excitement about embarking on his new career. We wish Thomas and all other early career nurses and midwives who have recently started practising in their professions the very best in their transition year and welcome them to our wonderful profession.

To read more articles from ANMJ, view the full journal online at