Time to set the preventive agenda

The scope of practice nursing is widening as nurses gain confidence and are given opportunities to work in prevention and health promotion. With pressures brought about by a growing prevalence of chronic and complex conditions, nurses increasingly have roles in prevention and health promotion in primary care services.  

Federal Government health reforms include a series of new policies that emphasise the importance of these areas. Last year saw the release of the National Hospitals and Health Reform Report, the National Primary Health Care Strategy, the National Women’s Health Policy and the National Male Health Policy. The National Preventative Health Agency is also currently in development. 

Overall, we are in an environment supportive of health promotion and the uptake of prevention opportunities in clinical practice. But while the policy imperatives are in place for a prevention agenda, are they in place to help nurses expand their work?