National Nursing Forum shines the light on leadership

More than 250 nurse leaders from around the nation gathered in Brisbane this week for the National Nursing Forum.

This year’s theme, “advancing nurse leadership”, was examined in a comprehensive program of workshops and presentations by more than 60 local and international speakers. They shared their insights about critical issues facing the nursing profession, including the need for strong, confident and resilient nurse leaders within the health care system.

Kathleen McLaughlin, acting CEO of the ACN, tells myGC exclusively “the main aim of the forum was to focus on nurse leadership and the difference it can make to the Australian healthcare system”.


“Being a nurse leader is more than working in a managerial position. A nurse leader is a change maker. ACN wants to ensure that nurses have access to the latest information and networking, mentoring and educational opportunities to develop their leadership skills and, by doing so, lead the improvement of the health of all Australians,” Ms McLaughlin continued.

With the rising cost of health care and an ageing population, Kathleen tells myGC “nurses are in a position to lead change in our health care system, by shaping and leading the development of new models of care to meet future demands.”

According to the National Nursing Forum’s international keynote speaker, Professor Anne Marie Rafferty – an expert on health service reform in the United Kingdom – nurses as leaders must not only do things right, they must also do the right things to achieve sustainable change in policy, systems, workplace culture and workforce retention.

“In a highly pressurised health system, the need for nurse leaders is huge. Strong leadership by nurses plays a pivotal role in a system that makes enormous demands upon practitioners. Nurses can be the designers of better care models and processes, as well as deliver better health outcomes for patients and their families,” stated Professor Rafferty.

If you know a Gold Coast nurse of midwife who deserves to be recognised, nominate them for the Gold Coast Nursing Awards at