Roadmap Project

Roadmap to national recognition for ACORN’s standards for perioperative nursing practice

Why is the project important?

The Australian College of Perioperative Nurses has been setting standards for perioperative nursing practice since 1980. We believe these standards contribute to safe and quality perioperative care in public and private hospitals across Australia. 

Unfortunately, not all hospitals use our standards.  Our best estimate is that approximately one-third of Australia’s 1500 hospitals abide by them.  

What is the project about?

In February 2019, the ACORN Board of Directors engaged a consultant, Randall Pearce from THINK: Insight and Advice, to assist with the development of a project that aimed to deliver national recognition and uptake of Standards for Perioperative Nursing in Australia (the ACORN Standards).  THINK conducted a qualitative action research study composed of 36 one-on-one, in-depth interviews with a range of internal and external stakeholders. 

In August 2019, the ACORN board reviewed the stakeholder consultation report and approved the budget for the project, which was launched in September 2019 at the Perioperative Leadership Summit in Canberra. The project is an ambitious, multi-year project and it will involve many internal and external stakeholders. 

Download the Roadmap Project Stakeholder Consultation Report

Who will be involved?

Adjunct Professor Debra Thoms, retiring Commonwealth Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer, has agreed to chair an eight-member National Leadership Group (NLG). This group will provide leadership, governance and oversight to this exciting initiative.  

The NLG will also oversee the work of up to five sub-groups covering various aspects of the project. The College will provide staff support (including some external contractors) to all of the groups, including the NLG.

This project has been designed as a four-phase project and the second phase includes a design workshop, involving the NLG and approximately 37 other key stakeholder representatives.

When will the project be undertaken?

The design workshop will take place in Sydney on 25 October and involve up to 45 stakeholders. While we won’t be in a position to set out the full scope of the project until after we develop a national work plan later this year, we can say that we estimate the group will need to meet up to ten times over a 20-month period from October 2019 to June 2021. Most of the meetings will be held electronically but there will be in-person meetings at key junctures.  

We want to work with the members of the NLG and our broader stakeholder community to develop the national work plan so that all of those involved have a real sense of ownership over the project. 

The work plan will be submitted to the ACORN board for approval in December.