Ms Carolyn Ripper1
1NSW Rural Doctors Network, Hamilton, Australia
The purpose of the presentation is to raise awareness of the strategies NSW Rural Doctors Network (RDN) are undertaking to address nursing and midwifery workforce needs and challenges in rural and remote NSW. RDN is the designated Rural Workforce Agency for health in NSW whose aim is to ensure the highest possible standard of healthcare is provided to rural and remote communities through the provision of a highly skilled health workforce and assisting communities, general practices and health services to find suitably skilled and qualified General Practitioners (GPs), nurses, midwives and allied health professionals to work in their towns. Nurses and midwives, being the largest and the most geographically dispersed workforce in Australia are highly skilled to provide communities with access to health care across all age groups and RDN aim to ensure nurses and midwives are embedded in workforce solutions.
RDN’s vision for nursing and midwifery is that community and primary health care nurses and midwives work to their full scope of practice to enable more effective use of skills and experience to improve patient management and outcomes to meet the needs of rural, regional and remote communities in NSW. This vision requires a number of RDNs pillars working on objectives and strategies such as;
- Grow the community and primary health care nursing and midwifery workforce to meet the health needs of rural, and remote NSW communities.
- Planning for the health workforce as a unified system with locally developed, innovative approaches to the delivery of primary health care that meets communities’ needs
- Health workforce planning needs, incorporate practitioner scope of practice matched to community health needs.
- A mechanism for dissemination of effective approaches to improved patient centred, team-based care exists
- Improved capability and wellbeing of primary care nursing and midwifery workforce
Carolyn Ripper is a registered nurse and midwife who has a background working in rural and regional communities in primary care roles, health care redesign, project and change management and program implementation. Carolyn is leading NSW Rural Doctors Network’s (RDN) Nursing and Midwifery Strategy, working with key stakeholders to implement RDN’s Nursing and Midwifery Workplan objectives to embed nursing and midwifery solutions to ensure rural, remote and regional communities have access to quality primary health services.