Jan 21
New program designed for rural and remote nurses

Nurses in rural and remote locations in the Western NSW Local Health District (WNSWLHD) are benefiting from a new program designed to support them work at the highest possible level.

RG-NET, or the Rural Generalist - Nurse Education Team, will work with hundreds of rural and remote nurses across the District, helping them refine and advance their clinical assessment and management skills.

WNSWLHD Northern Sector General Manager, Brian Bonham said, “Our rural and remote nurses are very skilled. They have a unique job to do and it’s becoming more specialised as the health needs, expectations and general health landscape changes”. 

“RG-NET aims to up-skill our nurses with theory and practical clinical skills to be able to perform a range of assessments when caring for patients in rural and remote sites. 

“It is important that when our nurses are working with virtual services like the Virtual Rural Generalist Service (VRGS) and vCare, or the local GP, that they can perform practical clinical assessments in relation to a patient’s condition and be able to communicate this effectively with the medical services to expedite the care of the patient.

The RG-NET education team commenced rollout of the program to the towns of Nyngan, Cobar, Warren, Condobolin, Dunedoo, Coolah, Narromine, Grenfell, Blayney, Gulgong, Rylstone, and Molong. The remaining rural and remote facilities within the District will have the program rolled out to them over the next six months. 

RG-NET works with nurses to give them theory and practical experience to refine their clinical skills in a number of different assessment areas including; respiratory, abdominal, neurological, cardiovascular, obstetric & gynaecological, ENT and eye, mental health, drug and alcohol, geriatric nursing, palliative care, and simple acute wound closure and limb immobilisation. 

“We recognise the very important role our nurses play, especially in our rural and remote communities. 

“The RG-NET program is designed to provide them with the support and clinical expertise they need.

“We are extremely proud and excited to be rolling out this program across the WNSWLHD. This will be a part of our WNSWLHD footprint. 

“It is also an exciting opportunity for our nurses in rural and remote locations providing a new form of professional development and mentoring”. Brian said. 
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