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Chronic disease and healthy ageing program helps nurses provide effective care

April 30, 2021

Kristen Jefferson is one of 14 nurses who is participating in the Australian Primary Health Care Nurses Association (APNA) Chronic Disease Management and Healthy Ageing Program. The program is designed for nurses working in primary health care and consists of specifically tailored virtual workshops and modules.

Mrs Jefferson is enjoying the flexibility of the program that allows her to update her skills in her own time.

“I have been a nurse for 10 years and I felt it was a good opportunity for a refresher in chronic disease management,” Mrs Jefferson said.

“Having the immediate accessibility to learning materials that I can access in my own time along with evidence based and age appropriate content is already assisting when responding to patient needs within my clinic.”

The program can be undertaken over 12 months and has over 60 hours of content to meet individual needs of participants.

“I have been able to strengthen my knowledge which has enabled me to deliver health assessments that are more than just a systematic tick box approach. The support with care planning and coordination has really been of benefit for myself, my practice and patients,” Mrs Jefferson said.

Two out of every five people in the Darling Downs and West Moreton PHN region are currently managing a chronic disease with over 90% of people who are specifically managing cardiovascular disease or diabetes regularly seeing their GP.

Darling Downs and West Moreton PHN CEO, Merrilyn Strohfeldt commends the program for providing a responsive learning platform for nurses in the region.

“Providing local nurses with an opportunity to improve their knowledge and skills helps the health workforce better support the ageing population to manage their condition,” Ms Strohfeldt said.

“This is important as half of people aged over 55 in our region are currently managing a chronic disease.”

APNA’s Chronic Disease Management and Healthy Ageing Program has been fully funded by Darling Downs and West Moreton PHN and Health Workforce Queensland for nurses in the PHN catchment. All nurses in eligible rural and remote areas were able to apply for reimbursement through the Health Workforce Queensland scholarship program.

Nurses who are ineligible for this funding due to their location will have their fees funded by Darling Downs and West Moreton PHN. Applicants can contact for support.