Industry collaboration reimagines new era for older persons’ healthcare

Wednesday 22 June 2022

The Massey University School of Nursing recently co-hosted the National Oceania Clinical Leaders symposium, alongside Oceania Healthcare. The symposium took place on International Nurses Day on 12 May.

Left to right: Dr Frances Hughes, Dr Felix Ram, and Professor Nicolette Sheridan.

The symposium was a collaborative event that showcased the two organisations working together to build nursing capability and leadership in the clinical speciality of older persons health. Oceania Healthcare is one of New Zealand’s largest Aged Residential Care (ARC) providers, employing nearly 500 nurses, 10 nurse practitioners, and approximately 1400 Healthcare Assistants in 47 facilities across New Zealand.

Head of the School of Nursing Professor Nicolette Sheridan welcomed members of the Oceania Clinical Leadership Team and over 50 nurses onto the Auckland campus for the event. During her welcome speech, Professor Sheridan acknowledged the theme of this year’s International Nurses Day, and highlighted the importance of investing in nurses for the future of global healthcare.

The symposium was facilitated by Dr Felix Ram, Director of the Centre of Excellence for Person-Centred Aged Care, who leads the Medical, Education, and Research Team at Oceania Healthcare. He says the collaboration marks a new era in the approach to older persons’ care.

“Massey University School of Nursing and Oceania Healthcare are entering a period of transformation in aged care. We welcome the opportunity to engage in the co-development of postgraduate nursing courses that relate to the contemporary care of older people.”

Oceania Healthcare’s Chief Executive Officer Brent Pattison attended virtually, and acknowledged the talent and tenacity of Oceania nurses who have continued to care for residents throughout the pandemic. The symposium was the first time clinical leaders had been able to come together and connect in over two years, and was a celebration of the incredible work being done by nurses in the aged healthcare sector.

Keynote presentations by the International Council of Nurses Associate Director David Stewart, and the inaugural New Zealand Aged Care Commissioner, Carolyn Cooper, were highlights of the day. Oceania Healthcare Group General Manager Clinical and Care Services Dr Frances Hughes was also in attendance, and reflected on the importance of the nursing profession. “There is no security within countries without a stable, viable health service. There is no stable health service without nurses.”

Dr Hughes is well-known nationally and internationally, having previously served as Chief Nurse for the Ministry of Health, and Chair of the International Council of Nurses.

The presentations given by attendees provided insights into complex clinical and health issues, all with a common focus on improving health outcomes. Invited Massey speakers included Professor Karen Hoare (Nurse Practitioner, Nursing) and Professor Carol Wham (Public Health Nutrition).

Professor Hoare provided an overview of postgraduate nursing programmes, including the Nurse Practitioner programme, and emphasised the pathway for registered nurses in ARC. Professor Wham gave a talk on the prevalent risk factors of malnutrition and sarcopenia among ARC residents.

Professor Sheridan says Massey clinicians, academics, and Oceania Healthcare play an important role in the education of nurses at undergraduate and postgraduate levels, and together can change the future.

“We share a vision of excellence in nursing leadership and a commitment to improving health care. Partnering with Oceania Healthcare creates opportunities, most immediately, to develop professional educational pathways for registered nurses working within the sector and to grow the future nursing workforce by offering student nurses exceptional clinical learning experiences.”

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