Support for Ratios for Aged Care

The College of Emergency Nursing Australasia (CENA), the peak professional association representing emergency nurses, unequivocally supports the Australian Nursing & Midwifery Federation’s campaign for Ratios for Aged Care. Residential aged care services provide care to one of our most vulnerable populations and the current nurse-to-resident ratios are woefully inadequate.

There is clear evidence that better levels of nurse staffing result in better patient outcomes and decreased risk of death and harm. The lack of nurse staffing in aged care not only places residents at risk of suboptimal care it also results in moving residents to emergency departments as aged care staffing does not enable nurses assess and manage residents who suffer clinical deterioration or an event such as a fall at their facility.

CENA Executive Director, Dr Julia Morphet highlights that “transferring older persons to emergency departments places them at unnecessary risk of harm”. “Movement to an unfamiliar environment is distressing for many older persons and their families and can cause delirium which is associated with increased risk of death.” “Being in an emergency department places older persons at higher risk of falls, pressure injuries, and unnecessary test and invasive procedures.”

CENA endorses that older persons deserve the best possible care which is not possible in the 2.86 hours of nursing care per day currently provided to residents. Nurse staffing in aged care warrants urgent attention and legislated nurse-to-resident ratios: make them law now.


Further information:

Dr Julia Morphet, Executive Director

College of Emergency Nursing Australasia

Improving the knowledge and skills of emergency department and mental health nurses to work therapeutically with patients who self-injure

You are invited to take part in research that aims to:

  1. a) Obtain an improved understanding of nurses’ attitudes towards and experiences of working with people who present with self-injury;
  2. b) Identify nurses’ knowledge and skill set to work with people who self-injure; and
  3. c) Identify strategies and interventions that can enhance emergency department and mental health nurses’ ability to provide quality care to this group of patients.

A skilled nursing workforce can have a major impact on the wellbeing of people who present with self-injury, as they are able to effectively assess and provide care to the person in the emergency and inpatient settings.

If you would like to participate in the research you can complete the online questionnaire by opening the following link:

The first page of the questionnaire contains an information sheet that details the purpose and objectives of the research along with a consent form that you must complete. Curtin University Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC) has approved this study (HRE2017-0811).

Thank you for taking the time to read this invitation to participate. If you have any questions or would like any further information about the research before agreeing to participate please contact Dr Irene Ngune on (08) 92662357 or

investigators: Irene Ngune1, Dianne Wynaden1, Carrie Janerka1, 2, Sharon Delahunty2, Penelope Hasking1, Karen Heslop1, Shirley McGough1 and Clare Rees1  

1 – Curtin University; 2 – Fiona Stanley Hospital

Disaster Education and Training for Australian Nursing Students: A Delphi Study


Disasters happen everyday somewhere in the world. Nurses make up the largest part of the healthcare sector and are integral to disaster response. However, despite the importance attributed to disaster nursing, studies show that nurses feel under prepared to assist in the aftermath of a disaster. This is because training programs are lacking and disaster education contents are not well addressed in the undergraduate nursing curriculum. Implementing disaster contents in the undergraduate nursing curriculum would enable Australian graduates have disaster base knowledge.

What is the aim of this study?

This research study will determine priority disaster topic contents aimed at preparing Australian undergraduate nursing students to assist in caring for victims in the aftermath of disasters.

Click the link to participate in Survey

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What are the benefits of participating in this study?

This area of nursing practice is not yet well developed. By participating in this study, you would be part of the body of experts who could provide some disaster content of what should be included in the Australian undergraduate nursing curriculum. The study results will enable the researcher to generate a list of subject priorities to develop a disaster module in the future that could inform disaster content teaching in Australia. This would be of benefit to survivors of future disasters as findings could better equip future nurses for practice in the aftermath of disasters and probably increase nurses’ willingness to assist following a disaster.

What are the requirements of participation?

You will be required to complete an online survey at two points in time.  Each survey will take approximately 10 minutes to complete. An email containing a link to the survey will be sent to you. If you wish to continue as a participant in the study, you will be required to follow the link to access the survey. The survey includes:

  • Simple demographic information
  • A list of disaster related topic statements generated from literature review of other studies
  • A provision made for comments and suggestions of additional topic areas you deem relevant for inclusion in the Australian undergraduate nursing curriculum.

In the survey, you will be required to rank the generated topics using a 5-point Likert scale.

Are there possible risks associated with participation in study?

The likelihood of risk associated with this study is negligible. However, the study may be a source of inconvenience to you. Participation in this study is voluntary and you may withdraw your participation at any time of your choosing without consequence. Furthermore, the co-investigators may have some sort of relationship with you. However, the co-investigators will only participate in the process of data analysis after the chief researcher must have grouped the individual datum. This will protect your identity and maintain privacy and confidentiality if perhaps, the co-investigators know you personally.

Will this study affect my emotional health?

You may experience an emotional response relative to your experiences. The likelihood of this occurring is minimal. The rationale is that the survey does not involve the collection of highly personal or sensitive information. However, if an emotional response occurs you are encouraged to seek support from any one of these services:

  • Your General Practitioner
  • Workplace Employer Assistance Program
  • Beyond Blue – 1300224636
  • Lifeline – 131114

Will I be identified in this study?

During data collection, a combination of personal and non-identifying information will be collected from you. However, the only personal information required from you is your email address for further contact to be maintained during the data collection phases of the study. Only the researcher named above will access the individual information you provide. The information you provide will remain confidential. If at any stage of the study you withdraw your participation, no further information will be collected from you. However, information already collected from you prior to your withdrawal will continue to be used for data analysis.

How will information I provide be stored?
Any information you provide will be stored securely on a password protected University of Canberra online survey account.  At the end of the study, data will be transferred to and stored on a University of Canberra password protected network drive.  Data will be stored for a period of 5 years then destroyed afterwards according to University of Canberra policy.

How will study results be used?

At the completion of this project, the research findings will be submitted in thesis format, as part of the requirements of the researcher’s Honours. Furthermore, the results may be presented at conferences and published in a journal. However, in any of these publications or presentations, only aggregated data will be used hence, you will not be individually identified. As a participant if you would like to access the study results, please contact the chief researcher on the email address provided above. The researcher will then send you a summary of the research outcome.

Has this study been approved by ethics?

Approval to conduct this project was obtained from the University of Canberra Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC) on 26th February, 2018. Approval number – HREC 17-289.

What if I have any concerns?

Any complaints or reservations you may have about ethical aspects of your participation in this study, may be forwarded to the University of Canberra Research Ethics & Integrity Unit (contact either Mr Hendryk Flaegel via phone 02 6201 5220, Ms Maryanne Simpson via phone 02 6206 3916 or email  If you make any complaint, it will be treated in strict confidence, investigated and you will be notified of the outcome.

For further information on some questions you could ask about your participation in the research study, you can refer to the Participants’ Guide located at

About the researcher

The researcher is an Honours student at the University of Canberra. There is one supervisor and two co-investigators overseeing the project. Questions or concerns about this study may be directed to the chief researcher, supervisor or co-investigators on their email contacts above.

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Exploring the perceived disaster preparedness of emergency department (ED) nurses who work in regional and rural New South Wales (NSW).

Project summary:

The aim of the research is to examine the perceived preparedness of emergency nurses working in regional and rural NSW Australia.


  1. Explore ED nurses’ perceptions of preparednes
  2.  Describe disaster-training activities that nurses have undertaken
  3. Compare findings to current body of knowledge

Participants will be asked to provide demographical information as well as complete a 52 point questionnaire.

Exploring stress resilience among emergency personnel

The data from the study will help the research team develop an understanding of the key elements that lead to protecting against psychological vulnerability while working in the emergency department and the role physical activity plays in reducing stress levels of staff.

If you are currently working full-time as an emergency department nurse (graduate or fully-qualified) and working ‘in the field’ (rather than working in an administrative role) you are eligible to participate. We understand that your time is limited, but we would greatly appreciate your time to complete a short 10-15 minute online survey. This survey is anonymous and voluntary.

Click the link below to participate:

Before completing the survey, you are encouraged to read the plain language statement which outlines the project in more detail. Please note you are able to withdraw from this project prior to completing the online survey, however once the survey is completed data cannot be extracted from the final data set. All data will remain confidential and anonymous. 

Federation University Australia (Ref No A17-114) and the Ethics Committees of the College of Emergency Nursing (CENA; Ref No: CENA/RC/2018/02) have approved this project.

If you have any complaints or concerns about your participation in the study that the student researcher has not been able to answer for you, you may contact the Principal Researcher Dr. Christopher Mesagno of the School of Health Sciences and Psychology. PH: (03) 5327 6136. EMAIL: or Associate Researcher Dr. Joanne Porter of the School of Nursing, Midwifery and Healthcare. PH: (03) 5122 6440. EMAIL:


Emergency nurse’s preparedness for paediatric emergencies

Perera, C

As part of this research you are invited to partake in an online survey at a time that is convenient to you. The survey should take approximately 15-20 minutes. The survey is intended to explore your confidence, your perceived competence of caring for paediatric emergencies in the ED and paediatric education that you have received.

Please find attached explanatory statement for further information. We encourage you to read this form and ask any other questions you may have.

You are under no obligation to participate in this research, however if you wish to participate, please read the explanatory statement and complete the online survey.

Explanatory Statement_Emergency nurses preparedness to care for paediatric patients

This project has been approved by Monash University Human Research Ethics Committee (Approval number 10426).

Please contact the lead investigator Chanika Perera ( if you have any questions.

Nurses experiences with interruptions

Gao, J, PhD Candidate

Interruptions have been found to be associated with medication administration errors, leading to interventions aimed at reducing or eliminating interruptions. However, nurses have been observed to have different ways of managing interruptions that do not involve the reduction or elimination of interruptions. Nurses have also been found to define interruptions differently compared to researchers. Therefore, the purpose of this research is to understand how nurses define and manage interruptions, as well as their perception of current interruption-handling interventions. This project is conducted by researchers from both the Safety Science Innovation Lab at Griffith University and Cognitive Engineering Research Group at the University of Queensland.

Nurses’ and doctors’ perceptions and experiences in providing end-of-life care in emergency department settings.

Giles, Dr Tracey

This pilot study will explore perceptions and experiences of doctors and nurses providing end-of-life care in emergency department (ED) settings throughout Australia.

When people die in emergency departments (EDs), they are surrounded by expert clinicians but may often be separated from their family and significant others. Emergency departments are designed and staffed for rapid diagnosis, treatment and referral/discharge, and they may not be equipped to care for dying patients and their families. As such, ED clinicians tend to prioritise lifesaving activities over family-centred end-of-life care – even when the most likely patient outcome is death.

As our population ages, there will be an increasing number of people presenting to and dying in EDs. The provision of safe, effective end-of-life care in this setting is therefore important for not only patients but also their families and ED staff. Sub-optimal end-of-life care can lead to physical, emotional and spiritual distress for patients, families and loved ones over an extended period of time – impacting individuals as well as society at large.