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The Oak March 2024

In February we celebrated PeriAnaesthesia Week! Congratulations to all those working in these essential perioperative roles.

Thank you to everyone who contacted us about the ACORN 2024 Conference being deferred. It was a very difficult decision, involving external advice, but the best interest of our members is always front and foremost and Diane and the team are working hard to find a new location and date that will suit as many members as possible. I look forward to sharing the exciting news as soon as it is finalised.

I am pleased to announce that Edwina Eaton (née Blannin-Ferguson) has rejoined ACORN in a new role as Clinical Excellence Coordinator (CEC). This is a key role that truly reflects ACORN’s mission to advocate for patient safety and quality care. Initial strategic planning has occurred to form an ongoing Standards working party to continue the work done by the Roadmap Project and ensure evidence-based best practice that is relevant to the clinical frontline. Local associations have made nominations to the working party, and we will be encouraging further engagement from members to ensure that we are meeting their needs. Any questions, feedback or offers of support please contact Edwina at

The International Federation of Perioperative Nurses (IFPN) is meeting in September, in Spain, and we aim to have ACORN representation at the table. This global perioperative collaboration provides direct feedback to the International Council of Nurses (ICN), highlighting significant issues in our clinical environment. ACORN has a long legacy of participation in the IFPN, representing Australian perioperative nurses and the issues they face. We also aim to maintain strong networking links and collaborate with the Association of perOperative Registered Nurses (AORN) and I will be virtually attending the AORN conference this year. I look forward to sharing insights and lessons learned after the conference.

Closer to home, ACORN is collaborating with the Royal Australian College of Surgeons (RACS) to ensure a connected and unified approach to patient and staff safety. We plan to keep the RACS board informed of ACORN activity and the RACS will be doing the same for our directors. We look forward to continuing a strong relationship with not only RACS but also other professional organisations whose members work in the perioperative setting.

I thank you all for your patience as we gain momentum for 2024. Please do not hesitate to contact us at

Jess Pougnault, Board Chair

It’s been a busy couple of months but I’ve been taking the time to truly understand the many ways in which ACORN supports the ongoing education of perioperative nurses in Australia. I’m excited (and a bit daunted) to add to and grow those offerings.

I have enjoyed being in touch with many of you through our online education enquiries and abstract submissions. The perioperative nursing community’s commitment to best practice and clinical excellence never ceases to amaze me.

PeriAnaesthesia Week 2024

In February we celebrated International PeriAnaesthesia Week (IPAW). Nurses working in pre-anesthesia and post-anaesthesia care, ambulatory surgery and pain management are dedicated to caring for patients and their families. They are passionate about what they do as nurses. IPAW24 is an opportunity to educate nursing colleagues and the community about the professionalism and passionate care that is delivered by perianaesthesia nurses every day.


Are you a new perioperative nurse, or looking for a refresher on perioperative fundamentals? Check out ACORN’s range of ‘Fundamentals of …’ courses. These courses provide a comprehensive suite of content, designed to ensure all fundamental perioperative nursing topics are covered. Courses range from 16 to 20 continuing professional development (CPD) points and are mapped and approved in line with the National Safety and Quality Health Service (NSQHS) Standards.

To find out more about each of the courses available, visit the Education Shop or, if you know which course you want to do, click on it below and follow the prompts.

And don’t forget that ACORN members receive a 15% discount on all course registration fees! Simply email to receive your member discount coupon code.


Last month saw the restart of the ACORN webinar program with our series ‘From the archives’. This series revives educational resources that have not been available for the past few years but are still relevant and provide significant educational opportunities.

ACORN Education webinars are free for all ACORN members – this is a benefit of being part of the ACORN community. Just login to your ACORN account to access these webinars.

If you are not an ACORN member, you can purchase a 12 month ACORN webinar subscription to access all webinars. You will need to create an account, select 'ACORN webinars' from the catalog and follow the prompts.

Financial support and scholarships

Bravura Education is offering scholarships for ACORN members to complete a laser safety officer (LSO) training course (surgical and operating suite).

This laser safety officer course is suitable for those who work in an operating suite or other clinical environment that uses lasers. It provides a comprehensive understanding of the operation and hazards of lasers. The course is delivered online and takes eight to ten hours to complete. You can study at your own pace, in your own time and take as long as you like to do it. Assessment is a two-hour, online, open book exam.

Applications open in March and September. In each round, one ACORN member from each state will be awarded a scholarship to do Bravura Education's LSO training.

Apply for this scholarship. Applications for this round close on 31 May 2024.


Education Committee

Are you an experienced perioperative nurse who wants to contribute to the education of perioperative nurses across Australia? Are you passionate about evidence-based practice and continuing professional development? ACORN Education is seeking an expression of interest from you to join the ACORN Education Committee!

The primary function of the ACORN Education Committee is to provide clinical insight and professional recommendations about the content of the ACORN Education offerings to ensure they are consistent with legal, professional and industry standards.

We invite you to submit an expression of interest via our website.

Special interest groups

Are you passionate about a particular area of perioperative nursing? You may want to consider joining one of the ACORN Special Interest Groups (SIGs) to connect with likeminded passionate nurses and industry experts.

Current SIGs:

  • Perioperative managers
  • Perioperative PhD group
  • Preceptors and facilitators

To join a SIG, please complete an expression of interest via our website.

I am thrilled to have started my role as Clinical Excellence Coordinator at ACORN, in February.

As a practicing perioperative nurse, I am passionate about ensuring best-practice care for our patients and colleagues that is robust, underpinned by evidence and dynamic so it can grow with ever-advancing perioperative practice, equipment and techniques. Having previously held the role of ACORN Education Manager, I have a thorough understanding of the wonderful work that our perioperative nurses, educators, managers, partners and ancillary staff perform each and every day, and I look forward to building on this further.

Being a brand-new role within the ACORN organisation, my aim is to bring you all along with me on this journey of clinical excellence. Through collaboration, transparency and communication we can work together. I am available for consulting and welcome your enquiries on Your feedback and involvement in this national approach to clinical excellence is paramount to ensure that ACORN is meeting the needs of our nurses, patients, perioperative departments and health care systems as a whole.

I look forward to continuing the work of our professional representative body in this new role and I look forward to meeting a lot of you in person soon!

Edwina Eaton (née Blannin-Ferguson), Clinical Excellence Coordinator

Evidence-based practice in perioperative nursing: Barriers and facilitators to compliance


Evidence-based practice (EBP), in combination with clinical expertise and patient values and wishes, enables delivery of exceptional patient-centred care. Providing our perioperative patients care that is informed by best evidence has been proven to provide a safer and higher standard of care.

Best evidence forms the basis for standards and guidelines for nursing practice published by organisations such as Australian College of Perioperative Nurses (ACORN), Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists (ANZCA) and Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (ACSQHC). While perioperative nurses strive to provide the best possible care for their patients there is sometimes a ‘mismatch’ in the clinical environment when nurses revert to the use of tradition-based practices rather than providing care that has been based on best evidence that would be safer for their patients. The reasons for this are complex and involve, in part, a lack understanding of research and evidence, and a lack of time.

As higher education and a deeper understanding of and appreciation for research and evidence has been shown to enhance the uptake of evidence-based perioperative practice, good nursing leadership, encouragement and resources are needed to spearhead education in this vital area.

This discussion paper will present some of the barriers and facilitators to the provision of evidence-based care in the clinical environment. However, while researching this topic revealed a significant quantity of low-level research that provided similar findings, there was a paucity of rigorous high-level research. This indicates the need for further research in this vital area.

Read full article


Recent articles:

Effect of using virtual reality to manage needle phobia in adults undergoing medical procedures: A rapid review
Craig Gilbertson, Tshepo Rasekaba and Irene Blackberry

Evaluation of nursing approach to assessment of post-operative respiratory depression using a simulation model
Natalia Tarasova, Usha Asirvatham, Robin Goetz, Mariela Riveria, Juraj Sprung and Toby Weingarten

‘I want to be a member of my heart team’: Insights from patients’ experiences of minimalist transcatheter aortic valve implantation
Celeste Percy, Fuchsia Howard, Bobby Lee, Janarthanan Sathananthan, David Wood, John Webb and Sandra Lauck

Australian elective surgery patients’ pre-operative preparation, health literacy, learning preferences and knowledge resource needs: A cross-sectional survey
Cory Williams, Jed Duff and Chloe Tannagan

Excellence in Perioperative Nursing awards nominations and applications are open.
Nominate a colleague or apply for an EiPN Team award before 31 May.


ACORN Fellowship nominations and applications are also open.
Nominate a colleague or apply for fellowship before 31 May.

ACORN’s work is supported by seven state and territory perioperative nursing associations (the local associations or LAs).

LA President reports

While each of the associations retains its own integrity and independence, together we find strength in unity to provide professional leadership in perioperative practice and the advancement of safe, quality perioperative nursing care for Australians.

NSW OTA conference: Safe travels – a perioperative journey
Friday 8 and Saturday 9 March

VPNG 2024 Country Conference
Saturday 23 March

ACORN Queensland conference: Emergence
Friday 25 and Saturday 26 October


Tel: 0434 001 891