ACORN Education news

December 2021


ACORN has been collaborating with the Papua New Guinea National Department of Health and the Australian Government to present webinars as part of CoHELP 2021.

CoHelpThe program, which is endorsed by the World Health Organization Papua New Guinea, delivers essential online training for the COVID-19 outbreak in Papua New Guinea. This training has been developed for all health care workers, students and volunteers, and it contains practical resources and scenario training. Our final webinar was conducted on Friday 19 November 2021 and was presented by Ruth Melville and a panel of wonderful speakers from Papua New Guinea.

November saw the launch of our ‘Perioperative roles’ series of webinars. The aim of this series is to shine a light on the diverse and incredible roles that can be undertaken in the perioperative environment.

Education imageWe started the series with Emma Wildman from Calvary Bruce Private Hospital in the ACT. Emma was kind enough to share her journey and experiences in the role of Clinical Development Nurse which included commissioning new operating theatres, and the unique challenges that come with that. This webinar has been recorded and is available for viewing on the ACORN website.

You spoke and we have listened. On Saturday 13 November we held a webinar to feedback to our members the results of the Education survey from July and what we are doing at ACORN Education with the information survey participants gave us. There are a number of activities underway and more planned for the future – it’s a very exciting time moving forward! We also officially introduced the new ACORN Education streams to help provide structure and accessibility to our perioperative community. The webinar has been recorded and is available for viewing on the ACORN website.

2021-11-24_EDU_ACORN Education Streams_(Condensed)_1920X975

In celebration of National Nurse Practitioner Day, and in collaboration with the Australian College of Nurse Practitioners, we are excited to bring you a Q&A panel webinar to showcase and shine a light on the many varied roles of the Nurse Practitioner in Australia. Please join us on Thursday 9 December 2021 (2.00 pm AEDT) to celebrate this nursing discipline, with ACORN CEO Rebecca East as a panel member. This is a great opportunity for you to be able to share in the journey and ask questions or advice from our panel. Visit the ACNP website for more details.

We spend a great deal of time planning for the entrance of nurses into the perioperative environment but seldom consider the other end of the nursing career. At ACORN Education we are passionate about providing holistic perioperative education and that includes the whole spectrum of the perioperative nurse’s journey. Join us for a webinar on ‘Planning your retirement’ on Friday 10 December 2.00 pm AEDT for expert advice tailored to those in the perioperative nursing profession. This is not only for those nurses who are actively planning their retirement – this is important information for all nurses. Register now to attend this webinar.

We, at ACORN Education, wish all the best and plenty of rest over the holiday period. Ensure that you look after yourselves, your families and friends. You deserve it!

Final education image

What a blast Perioperative Nurses Week 2021 was! Thank you to everyone who got involved – we loved seeing your photos, comments and videos. It was great to see our nurses having some fun! Some of the highlights of the week have to be the photo competitions – Fancy Footwear and Periop Mascot days.

Fancy footwear Periop mascot          

We definitely have some creative perioperative nurses out there. It was so incredible to read the amazing nominations for the GLUE awards! Congratulations to Maree Whyte, who was the winner, and Penny Togo, who came runner up.

Our ACORN lip sync winners are Bethwyn McIldowie and the Mackay Hospital and Health Services team, who will receive Virtual Reality training gear for their department for a year! This will take immersive perioperative education to the next level for our nurses.

VR 1 VR 2

Once again, a big thank you to all of our wonderful sponsors who helped make this week happen: Perrigo, Multigate, Johnson & Johnson, Sanita Australia, Nurses & Midwives Health, and Medtronic. Make sure to check out the ACORN website Perioperative Nurses Week 2021 or ACORN socials (Facebook and Instagram) to see the photos, videos and stories of the week.

Don’t forget the ACORN Education Survey 2021 feedback webinar on Saturday 13 November 11.00 am to 12.00 noon AEDT. This webinar will report on the results of the survey that was disseminated in July and let participants know what the future looks like for ACORN Education a result of this information. Register now.

Here at ACORN, we want to shine a light on the amazing work our perioperative nurses are doing in all of their varied clinical settings. Join us as Emma Wildman (RN) shares her experience and journey as a Perioperative Clinical Development Nurse on Wednesday 17 November 2.00–3.00 pm AEDT. This role involves handling the education requirements for surgical admissions, anaesthetic, instrumentation, circulation, PACU and CSSD staff over three levels of on-site learners – undergraduates, new graduates and perioperative transitional nurses. Register now to share in Emma’s journey.

Please join ACORN, and Ursula Armstrong (Manager of Assessments at the Health Care Complaints Commission) for a poignant and informative webinar ‘HCCC complaints and prevention’ on Friday 26 November 2.00–3.00 pm AEDT. Ursula worked as a solicitor in regional NSW and as a guest lecturer teaching law and ethics to midwifery students at Southern Cross University. Ursula has also previously worked as a registered nurse and midwife, so is well placed to provide valuable insight and knowledge to our perioperative community. This webinar will be followed by a Q&A forum for you to ask your own specific questions. If you would like to submit any questions in advance, please email them to

The Australian Orthopaedic Association (AOA) has extended an invitation for ACORN members to attend the 81st AOA Virtual Annual Scientific Meeting, to be held 8-10 November 2021. The AOA have included a special rate of $125 (incl. GST) per day for any nurses interested in attending.

October 2021

It’s Perioperative Nurses Week!

PNW2021 - poster - FINALThis is a week to stop,and appreciate all of the wonderful work perioperative nurses do every single day. You work hard, you are there for the patient and each other, and you deserve to know how special you are.

ACORN is running competitions, prize giveaways, awards, events and more! Make sure to check out the our websiteFacebook and Instagram for more details. We are grateful to our wonderful sponsors for their kind donations and involvement in recognising the perioperative nurses of Australia. Thank you to MultigatePerrigoJohnson & JohnsonSanita Australia and Medtronic. Their ongoing support of our hardworking perioperative nurses is appreciated.

PNW2021 - Lip sync comp poster FINAL image

Perioperative nurses know how to have fun - that’s a fact! Choose your anthem, get those clogs moving and sing along to win big prizes! All you need to do is record 30 seconds of your best lip sync and dancing moves to one of the following songs:

  • We are family (Sister Sledge)
  • With a little help from my friends (Beatles).

Get as many periop team members in as possible! Tune in on Saturday 9 October to see the winning videos and prize ceremony! Submit your video via the ACORN Facebook competition post to win big! We have some incredible prizes to win thanks to our wonderful sponsor Perrigo Australia.


PNW2021 - GLUE awards poster imageDo you work with a perioperative nurse that just keeps everyone together like glue? They are unique, and make the day-to-day perioperative life that much better. They are genuine and can make you laugh even on the toughest of days. Nominate this wonderful nurse for the ACORN GLUE award via ACORN Facebook nomination post! We have amazing prizes to win, courtesy of our sponsors Multigate. ACORN want to recognise those perioperative nurses who keep the team together.

Do you want to know what’s on for the upcoming month in education and events? Check out our What's on posters. These posters are available for redistribution among your perioperative team, printable to add to education notice boards and able to be used as PC backgrounds. This way you and your team can stay up-to-date with what education opportunities are coming your way!

We are launching a new, free webinar series, Perioperative fundamentals. These webinars are designed to educate nurses who are either new to the perioperative environment or feel that they would like a refresher session on particular topics. Our first topic is ‘Wound closure’ on Monday 4 October. Places are still available, so register now. Make sure you pick up the code word during the webinar to go into the draw to win a prize!

The ACORN Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition celebrates the exciting perioperative research conducted by Australian higher degree research students. The 3MT cultivates students’ academic, presentation and research communication skills. The competition supports their capacity to effectively explain their research in three minutes, in a language appropriate to a non-specialist audience. Join in via webinar on 7 October 2021 to see the entrants’ videos and the winner announced. Register for the webinar now.

ACORN WA is hosting their exciting conference in both a virtual and face-to-face format on 16 October 2021. This will be an exciting day for all who are attending. The ACORN WA Annual General Meeting will also be included within the conference. Register for the conference.

Exciting news! ACORN Education will hold a webinar to discuss the feedback from the Education Survey that was circulated in July. Register for this webinar to hear what our members told us.

In August, we saw the first meeting of the Periop PhD Group where members who are doing a PhD in the area of perioperative nursing shared their perspectives on the PhD journey. This collaboration came about organically from engagement with the Research Q&A panel webinar ACORN ran in July this year. We encourage all members who are considering undertaking or already embarked on a PhD in the area of perioperative nursing to consider joining this group. The meetings are a great way to get peer support and hear about different stages of a PhD. For further information or to join, please email

ACORN’s Conference 2022 abstract submissions have now closed. We had a fantastic number of submissions and the review process has commenced. Some incredibly interesting topics have been submitted and it will be difficult to choose which will be presented at the conference in May 2022. We plan to include a wide variety of topics so attendees can choose from a holistic and engaging set of discussions and presentations about the many different aspects of perioperative nursing.

Do you have a perioperative education-related question? You can now submit Education enquiries directly to a member of the ACORN education team.

A sincere thank you to all members who completed the Education Survey 2021 and contributed their ideas and feedback. We had a total of 620 responses to the survey and ACORN Education will be using this information to tailor the education priorities to members’ needs.
We have three winners of the ACORN bundle for completing this survey:

  1. Arno Kronenberg (Parkes, NSW)
  2. Taleesa Griggs (Merriwa, WA)
  3. Nicole Kerkemeyer (SA).

The results of the Education Survey 2021 will be collated and presented back to members in the form of a webinar in the coming months, so keep an eye out if this is of interest to you.
Lockdown restrictions continue for a number of our Australian states. A reminder for those nurses who are looking for education during this time that there is a webinar library available on the ACORN website. This is a difficult and stressful time for a large number of Australians so make sure that you are reaching out to friends and family to connect, engage and check-in. Personal connection is so important during these times.
In the last month, ACORN Education has contributed to an article in the Health Times, Perioperative a uniquely fulfilling field. But is it for you?. The article is about the unique area of nursing that is ‘perioperative’. Do you agree that three qualities of a successful perioperative nurse are flexibility, resilience and being a team player? Part of the role of ACORN Education is to broaden the exposure of the perioperative environment and increase understanding about it. 
Do you have a perioperative education-related question? ACORN website now has an active Education enquiry link that will submit your enquiry directly to a member of the ACORN education team.

It’s an exciting time for perioperative education at ACORN. The pandemic has brought about new ways of working and learning. ACORN is building on some of the lessons learned to expand and diversify the education we provide. This is preceded by having a more comprehensive understanding of our members and what their education needs are. You will have seen a link to an Education survey in your email and on social media. We encourage all members to complete this five-minute survey to participate in the planning for upcoming education that meets your needs at a time that works for you. All survey participants go into the draw to win a prize, so don’t forget to add your email to the survey when prompted.
ACORN has been collaborating with state and territory perioperative nursing associations (local associations or LAs) to streamline our education products and services and to offer our members a more varied and comprehensive education portfolio. Areas we are looking to review for our members include introductory perioperative programs, webinar content, specialty perioperative programs, postgraduate programs and more. By enabling a closer partnership with the local associations, we are able to work together to provide the most pertinent education related to you in your area(s). Also, with the Roadmap Project nearing completion, we want to ensure that ACORN’s education programs are consistent with the key elements set out in the project’s innovative and essential documents.
ACORN remains committed to providing up-to-date, relevant and evidence-based education to support the knowledge and practice of our members.