• Let’s have RNs 24/7 in aged care across Australia!

    Registered nurses are needed in
    nursing homes around the clock.
    The health and dignity of the aged
    is at stake.


The NSW Minister for Health Jillian Skinner has decided to remove the legal requirement for a registered nurse to be on site at all times in facilities with people with high care needs.

The Ministry of Health has invited the public to comment on the Public Health Act before changing it. Asking the public for feedback is one of the steps needed before a Government can change major legislation.

This is a good opportunity to tell the NSW Government that RNs 24/7 and a Director of Nursing are a necessity in our nursing homes.

We need to act now:

1.    The relevant link is here: Public Health Act 2010 Statutory Review Discussion Paper. See Section 3.9 Nursing homes (pg. 46)

2.    Make a submission as to why we MUST retain Section 104 of the Public Health Act.

3.    This can be done by email with the subject heading; A Submission to the Public Health Act 2010 Statutory Review. Tell the Minister clearly and simply why keeping RNs 24/7 and the DON is essential in nursing homes. Include your contact details.

4.    The email address is publichealth@doh.health.nsw.gov.au

5.    Your email must be sent before the process closes on Friday 3 June 2016.

6.    If you want to send a submission as a letter, please send it to:  Health Protection NSW, NSW Ministry of Health, Locked Bag No. 961, North Sydney NSW 2059

The NSWNMA condemns the decision, which could leave thousands of vulnerable elderly people in the sole care of unregulated workers and result in unnecessary trips to emergency departments to receive nursing care.

NSWNMA will continue to campaign against the implementation of legislation changes and calls on members of the upper house of the NSW Parliament to do everything within their power to stand up for the rights of the elderly in NSW. It will remain our priority to maintain the regulation as a minimum requirement in NSW residential aged care facilities.

Send an email to Jillian Skinner asking her to reverse her decision.

Read the open letter to Health Minister Jillian Skinner from 16 health and community organisations March 2016 (before she made her decision).

The Upper House Inquiry report into registered nurses in NSW nursing homes recommended keeping RNs 24/7! Read this Summary of the NSW Upper House committee recommendations. Or read the entire report!

Read our FAQs about this issue here.

What you can do in NSW:

Send an email to Jillian Skinner asking her to reverse her decision.
Register your support for keeping registered nurses 24/7 in NSW aged care
Sign up for campaign news via our e-newsletter
Like Aged Care Nurses Facebook Page
Follow RN 24/7 in Aged Care on Twitter
Read letters of support for the campaign from community groups
Download our factsheet about the Public Health Act and registered nurses

Just some of the reasons RNs are essential:

– Overseeing medications, including assessing side effects
– Undertaking nursing procedures, including urinary catheters, naso-gastric tubes, wound care
– Minimising unnecessary transfers to Emergency Departments
– Providing palliative care at the nursing home
– Providing support and supervision to ENs and AiNs.

To find out more or get involved, contact Shirley Lee (slee@nswnma.asn.au). Phone Shirley on 02 8595 1234 or 1300 367 962.


The federal Senate is holding an inquiry into the future of Australia’s aged care workforce. It’s scandalous that on any given night at nursing homes across the country, a single care worker can be looking after 30-50 frail, vulnerable patients with complex, chronic conditions, many with dementia.

ANMF-aged-care-1 (2)

Here is our Senate Inquiry Aged Care Workforce Submission.

Read the Choice article: Tips for choosing the right aged care


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