COVID-19 advice

23312_loresACORN's advice to members and stakeholders

The board and staff of ACORN are grateful for the understanding of members as we the perioperative nursing workforce and fellow Australians all face the immediate and ongoing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

ACORN recommends members follow the Australian government's advice and regular updates available at

(Click here for self-care advice and to watch a video from Nurse and Midwife Support.)

Elective surgery restrictions eased

ACORN met with Australian Chief Medical Officer Prof. Brendan Murphy,  Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr Nick Coatsworth and representatives from other professional associations to discuss the reintroduction of elective surgery across Australia.

joint media statement advised that the Australian Government, in partnership with states and territories, peak surgical bodies, the AMA and the private hospital sector, will be increasing the availability of elective surgery in a safe and carefully considered way which ensures the wellbeing of both patients and health care workers.

ACORN's involvement is an indication of the important contribution perioperative nurses make to the health of all Australians. Greater advocacy is a key goal for ACORN so despite being such a difficult time for our members and colleagues, it is in fact a great moment for Australian perioperative nurses, giving ACORN the opportunity to advocate for our members at such a high level.

ACORN met with Australian Chief Medical Officer Prof. Brendan Murphy,  Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr Nick Coatsworth and representatives from:

Australian Medical Association 

Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists

Australian Private Hospitals Association

Australian Society of Anaesthetists

Catholic Health Australia, Calvary Health Care

Consumer Health Forum 

Private Healthcare Australia

Royal Australasian College of Surgeons 

The Australian Society of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery.

The full joint media statement is available to download here.

ACORN encourages you to continue to care for yourselves and your peers during this time and thank you for your ongoing contribution to advance safe and quality perioperative nursing care for Australians.


Department of Health video

To assist members working in perioperative settings we recommend the following Department of Health video (released 1 April 2020).

Coronavirus update for hospital clinicians

Infection control training

ACORN recommends members undertake the national COVID-19 infection control training.

PPE and other protective work practices

ACORN is committed to the provision of safe, quality perioperative care and the safety of perioperative staff. ACORN recommends that members follow the latest national and state recommendations, standards and guidelines and the ACORN standards wherever feasible.

  1. Coronavirus (COVID-19) information on the use of surgical masks (22 March 2020)
  2. Interim recommendations for the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) during hospital care of people with Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) (5 March 2020)
  3. NHMRC Australian Guidelines for the Prevention and Control of Infection in Healthcare (2019)
  4. Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (ACSQHC) National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards (2017)

Other health care worker resources

Our colleagues at ANZCA have terrific resources that can be found at the following link:

The national government is continuing to make COVID-19 resources freely available from their website (below).

Coronavirus (COVID-19) resources for health professionals, including aged care providers, pathology providers and healthcare managers

For CovidSafe App resources and information click here

Future updates

ACORN will continue to provide members with updates via our Facebook and Instagram accounts and through this website as new information and advice is released.

We recognise that this is a significantly challenging time for our members, colleagues and key stakeholders.

Self-care and support

Looking after yourself at this time

Now more than ever it is especially important to look after yourself. Below is a webinar from Nurse and Midwife Support looking at ways to look after yourself during the pandemic.


Please take care of yourself and each other in these challenging times.

ACORN would like to remind you of free support available from Nurse & Midwife Support who offer free and confidential services for nurses and midwives across Australia.

Nurse and Midwife Support provide 24/7 telephone and email support, as well as information on their website and social media accounts focusing on supporting and improving the health and wellbeing of nurses, midwives and students.

Please call 1800 667 877 or visit their website

Click here to listen to a podcast from Nurse and Midwife Support 'Dealing with stress in a crisis' or learn more by watching any of the videos below.