The Australian College of Nursing [transcript] [audio]

Guest: Kylie Ward

Presenter: Henry Acosta

Guest Bio: For over 20 years, Adjunct Professor Kylie Ward has had a successful career as a Nursing Leader and as a Health and Aged Care Executive in Australia. She is passionate about advancing professionalism in the field of nursing and acknowledges the significant contribution of nurse leaders to health, aged care, and community.

Kylie’s approach to leadership is modern, ethical, progressive and focuses on humanity and building mental and spiritual resilience to meet organisational challenges and lead people through change. Her expertise is in transformational leadership and management, organisational culture, change management, models of care, redesign and clinical informatics.

Kylie wears multiple hats. She has been a lecturer for Masters Degree and undergraduate Masters Degree nursing students at Monash University. She has held positions of Managing Director, Director of Clinical Operations, Director of Nursing and Midwifery, Director of the Division of Medicine, Associate Director of Women’s and Children’s Health and Executive Director of Nursing and Midwifery in three major health services in NSW and Victoria. She has been a NUM, After Hours Coordinator, Campus Manager, Bed Manager and Patient Flow Manager. Her clinical background is in intensive care and aged care.

Segment overview: For Kylie Ward of Australian College of Nursing, “To be a nurse is to be a leader.”  She is passionate about advancing professionalism of nurses and acknowledges their contribution to public health. In this interview, Kylie talks about National Diabetes Week, Choosing Wisely Australia Campaign, and the importance of people living with diabetes to self-monitor their blood sugar level. The Australian College of Nursing (ACN) is the national professional organisation for all nurse leaders and its aim is to ensure that the Australian community receives quality nursing care now and in the future. ACN is a membership organisation with members in all states and territories, health care settings and nursing specialties. 


Henry Acosta: Hello, I’m Henry Acosta and you’re listening to Health Professional Radio. Our guest today is the CEO of the Australian College of Nursing or better known as the ACN. She’s been very successful with her nursing career as she has held top positions at three major health services in New South Wales and Victoria. She is Kylie Ward and she is with us today to talk about the ACN, National Diabetes Week and the Choose Wisely Australia Campaign, that is pushing for diabetics to do self-management with their glucose levels. With all that said, welcome to Health Professional Radio Kylie. It’s great having you here.

Kylie Ward: Thank you.

H: Can you give us more story about yourself and how did you get started with getting with ACN?

K: I have been a member of the predecessor organizations, the Professional Colleges for 20 years. I have always been a believer as a nurse that it is very important to be involved in our professional college. And so the College of Nursing Australia and the College of Nursing I was honored to be a member of both and then with granted fellowship status. So it was an easy transition as the first two organisations unified to stay committed to the Australian College of Nursing.

H: How did you get started with the Choose Wisely Australia campaign and why is it so important?

K: We felt at the Australian College of Nursing very honored to be the first and the only nursing organization invited to participate in the choosing wisely initiative and we went to our members and fellows and to our two nurses from all around the country and from varying specialties and areas of expertise to determine what were the priorities for nurses to look at driving improvements in less interventions and less procedures for patients. And one of those as you have alluded to that, we determined was that there was no indication for any changes to a patient’s BGL monitoring unless there was any clinical indication such honor the patient knowing what was best for them.

H: With regards to that, what do we have to know about it to people who are diabetic?

K: People living with diabetes know their condition, it’s a chronic disease. What is really important to the nursing profession and for nurses is that we work with patients, we advocate for patients that only are and for consumers but only when they cannot speak for themselves. So if somebody was to come into a hospital and there’s no health settings and there’s no clinical indication to change their BGL monitoring, then we would suggest not to interfere with that, don’t put them on TPS, don’t put somebody’s builders that are already quite tender and leave them to monitor their own and to maintain stability with their own diabetes management.
H: Do you think it’s going to be easy to teach people or teach diabetics on how to monitor their own levels?

K: Those living with diabetes will already have education from nurses health professionals, diabetes educators do a real good job in working with people living with diabetes to understand the disease and how to manage it and how to monitor it. So I feel very confident that those who have been living with diabetes for some time really understand the monitoring and management. It is really for health professionals and for nurses when people present to a hospital or health setting where there’s no clinical indication that we don’t interfere with that.

H: What do we have to know about the National Diabetes …?

K: For all health professionals and certainly on behalf of nurses, nurses are very well connected at the forefront of healthcare delivery all across the country. As you know, we’re the backbone of the health industries and that was a really well place with people living with diabetes as well as all chronic disease to promote people managing their illness to promotion wherever we can and for people to feel empowered in the decisions that they make in to those living with chronic disease.

H: Are there any misconceptions that keep you up at night with regards to the current campaign that you guys are doing?

K: The one area that I feel is, it’s something that is a focus now for the nursing profession and for nursing leaders is the nurses are pivotal to healthcare delivery and to the patient experience and to patient outcomes. And so from my perspective, it’s very important that we shift to change, methods are underrepresented not represented and disproportionately represented at the highest levels of decision-making in this country. And in my mind, that is unacceptable as we move forward to the health reform that is required for aged care and healthcare for the future. So if anything wants to keep me up at night, it is definitely, I am passionate in pursuing that nursing has a voice at the table is heard, is invited and that it is recognized widely that it is important for the profession to be there.

H: For our listeners right now who are maybe nurses, what is it that you want them to take away from this interview?

K: We are privileged to work in an incredible profession. We have a very well-connected, the Australian College of Nursing is a very well-connected and national body. We seek to enhance the delivery of health services to the Australian community. To be a nurse is to be a leader and that’s where we put our focus in advocating in the areas of policy, education, membership and leadership and so I would say to every nurse out there all around the country, know who we are, know our worth, be proud of what we do. That’s not just to be celebrated on the International Nurses Day, that’s to be celebrated every day. We are for the 23rd year in a row, the most trusted and ethical profession and it’s an effort and a privilege to be part of this wonderful profession.

H: And where the ACN, are there any campaigns or certain events that we should be watching out for?

K: Yes definitely. There’s a couple of things that we have. We have coming up in August on the 21st to the 23rd of August is our National Nursing Forum, this is the signature event of the year. We will have hundreds of delegates from all around the country and from all areas, representing all areas of the profession and the health and aged care settings. We will have undergraduates through to retirees and it will be a discussion about the nursing profession, the issues that are topical right now. We’ve got an exceptional lineup of speakers and to complement that, we have nurses from all areas presenting abstracts for the work that is contemporary and worthy of being shared on the national platform. The other area that I would just like to highlight in our commitment to pursuing leadership and developing leaders is our Emerging Nurse Leader Program. The Emerging Nurse Leader Program has been imposed since 2012. But last year, we remodeled the program and we extended it. Initially, it supported emerging … to undergraduates and this year, we have extended the program to promote nurses in the early stages of their career as well as third-year undergraduate. And this year we have 36 emerging nurse leaders. There is an question of interest out right now which closes on the 31st of August to our 2018 intake and we are able to welcome up to 50 emerging nurse leaders from around the country to this program. They get mentoring that it’s an exceptional program of empowerment and understanding the leadership qualities required for the future, they’re connected to experts in the field and also gain a very strong network within the group. So that’s very exciting, we’re very proud of that.

H: Can nurses from all around Australia join that and what’s the best way to get involved with your campaigns?

K: Through membership. We love our members. We are passionate and I really look for members who want to be the best they can doing what they’re doing right now as a nurse. They are the type of members that we have, people who are proud of the profession and want to advance the profession. And so my suggestion would be is, if you’re not a member, join as a member, aspire to fellowship and if you’re a leader, or a manager, or clinical nurse consultant or specialist in an area and you can see either an undergraduate or an early career nurse up to six years, then it certainly advise them to get on our website and apply for the Emerging Nurse Leader Program and for those nurses to invest in their own clinical professional development. Absolutely, come along to our national nursing forum and connect with like-minded people and have a fabulous three days.

H: Where is then nurses forum going to happen?

K: It’s in Sydney at the … and it’s on the 21st to the 23rd of August this year.
H: For our last question, for those people interested in maybe talking to you and getting in touch with the ACN, how can they get in touch with you guys?

K: I would get to the website at and connect connect with us and there’s a message, let us know you will find phone numbers on there and emails and ways to access us. Just type in Australian College of Nursing and you’ll find us.

H: Awesome. Well, that’s all our questions for today and thank you so much for getting on the show Kylie.

K: My pleasure. Thank you.

H: And that was Kylie Ward, the current CEO of the Australian College of Nursing or ACM. We just finished talking about their current news and what we should know about the ACN and their new campaigns. If you like this interview and you’re interested in learning more about health related news, medical research and fitness, you can go on To keep up with our news and updates, you can like us on all major social media platforms. Audio is also available with SoundCloud and iTunes. Once again, I’m Henry Acosta and you’re currently tuned into Health Professional Radio.

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  1. First of all, I would like to thanks for the audio supplement to the article. I respect people who have gained experience in their life and want to help other to better their lives. Nursing involves so many tasks and so many chores to do. I am also passionate about advancing the professionalism of nurses and acknowledge their contribution to public health. I have a cousin who has graduated nursing school and now she is going to continue her studies with the Best Reviewer in order to become a professional.

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