The role of nurses and midwives in the governance of local health networks

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Collegian, 2011, 18 (2), pp. 51 - 54
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Current health reforms in Australia will establish local health networks of public hospitals each with a governing body. The establishment of these governing bodies, particularly in states like NSW where these entities do not currently exist within the public hospital system, provides opportunities for nurses, midwives and other clinicians to seek appointment to them. The policy and discussion papers on the establishment of the local health networks promise that local clinicians will be appointed to these governing bodies. Debate within the nursing and midwifery profession seems focused on the management of nursing and midwifery services within the new local health networks and not on the role of nurses and midwives on governing bodies. Nurses and midwives undoubtedly have a role to play on these governing councils, however there are a range of issues that should be considered on the role that nurses, midwives (and other clinicians) will play when appointed to the governing councils to ensure that they can appropriately undertake the role of a council member. The role of governance differs from that of management and clinicians who aspire to appointment of these governing bodies should be aware of the difference in these roles. © 2011 Royal College of Nursing, Australia.
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