Tracey Osmond is currently the Director, Clinical Governance and Quality, Scalabrini Village, Prior to her current role, Tracey has held a number of positions within the Aged Care sector over the last five years. Tracey has been a Registered Nurse for over 30 years with broad experience in clinical practice, education, management, and senior executive roles across the Health and Aged Care sectors in Australia. Most recently Tracey has held a number of roles in the Aged care sector as outlined above. Prior to these roles she was the CEO of The College of Nursing (2007-2012) where she was instrumental in the successful merger of TCON and RCNA to create the Australian College of Nursing. Tracey’s educational and aged care roles have coalesced to recognise the need for a structured capability framework for registered nurses practising in contemporary aged care environments. This recognition led to the creation of the Nursing in Aged Care Collaborative with like-minded colleagues working in large faith-based, not-for-profit Aged Care organisations which led to the commissioning and co-funding of the Aged Care Nursing Competency Development Project – an e-Delphi study.
The only widely used gerontological nursing
competencies were published in the United States. A Nursing in Aged Care Collaborative (NACC) undertook a study to address this gap and developed Gerontological Nursing (GerNur) Competencies for use across Australia.
Aim: This paper presents the findings from an e-Delphi study to develop GerNur Competencies.
Methods: Survey Monkey was used to circulate a draft set of gerontological nursing competencies and seek agreement on priority areas, wording and levels of practice. Using snowball sampling, 409 participants were recruited to the first round: 57% clinicians, 30% managers and 13% academics from 10 countries. At round 5, 139 participants remained.
Findings: With 60% agreement set as the minimum acceptable level, 11 core competencies with 36 domains of practice and two levels of practice were generated:
1. Living Well for Older People across Communities and Groups
2. Maximising Health Outcomes
3. Communicating Effectively
4. Facilitating Transitions in Care
5. Facilitating Choices
6. Partnering with Family Carers
7. Promoting Psychological Well-being and Mental Health
9. Providing Optimal Pain Management
11. Enabling Access to Technology
Conclusion: This is the first set of gerontological nursing competencies for use in Australia developed from an inductive consultation activity with a range of stakeholders. The GerNur Competencies will be piloted across the NACC organisations. The GerNurs Competencies and accompanying guidelines will be available on a freely accessible website for use by individuals for their professional development and organisations to support their implementation of strategic plans.