Facilitating nursing standard equivalence between Australia and Indonesia

A workshop of nursing experts and leaders has delved deeply into how industry equivalence between Australia and Indonesia might be achieved.

The Australia-Indonesia Centre brought together nursing industry experts from both countries to examine a greater alignment of nursing education and accreditation standards in an activity commissioned by Katalis.

The activity comes at a time of higher nurse migration which has increased the global nature of the profession and focused attention on the need for global alignment of nursing education that is culturally relevant and ethical.

This was the third meeting where delegates from across the industry are working together to strengthen nursing industry links between both countries.

The Australia-Indonesia Centre hosted the event at its Monash Caulfield office, also organising tours for the Indonesian delegates of Monash Peninsula Campus (a key centre for nursing research and training), Monash Medical Centre and Monash Children’s Hospital in the Melbourne suburb of Clayton.

In March, a workshop was held in Jakarta at Universitas Indonesia (UI) and toured the hospital on UI’s campus.

The aim of bringing together nursing researchers from both countries is to build skills in Indonesia’s nursing workforce and examine opportunities in Australia.

Katalis is a bilateral, government-backed economic cooperation program supporting trade and investment between Indonesia and Australia.

The workshop discussions reinforced the shared goal of cooperation noting two recent key reports, one examining nursing market opportunities and the second focusing on nursing standards in both countries.

Monash University head of Nursing and Midwifery, Julia Morphet, said a key difference was the placement experience which in Australia is part of the curriculum as opposed to being done at the end of the curriculum.

Professor Morphet said mapping the accreditation process in Indonesia, part of the Katalis reports, “will be helpful”.

“Overall it is so good to see where all of our research teams have come together to really see what opportunities there are,” she said.

Man uses stethoscope to check heart beat on a manikin.
Checking the pulse on a manikin at Monash Peninsula Campus. Image by AIC.


Professor Ascobat Gani of Universitas Indonesia said it was significant that gaps between the qualifications of both countries had been identified and now these issues needed to be followed up by the professional associations of both countries.

A key message from the reports and the discussion was that Indonesia could provide more evidence of the standards that are tested in education and training.

This identifying work on standards has led to Indonesia’s agency responsible for accrediting nursing courses (LAM-PTKes) saying it will implement the recommendations from the Katalis project.

One question posed was “what happens next”.

Researcher and nursing policy analyst Dianna Kidgell said a collaborative committee would be an important component of progressing equivalence in standards.

“So much has been discovered about what we share and what we have differences about,” Dr Kidgell said.

“This is a time that it needs to move forward,” she said, indicating that a collaborative committee representing both countries is needed to maintain enthusiasm and momentum from the work to date.

Leah Bradley from the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia and Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency talked about achieving equivalent standards for both countries and the challenge for overseas nurses to gain their registration under the Australian system.

Ms Bradley said a likeness in standards might ease the process of receiving approval to work in Australia.


Five people seated looking at a speaker who is not in the photo
Delegates listen intently during a briefing at Monash Medical Centre, Clayton. Image by AIC.


After the workshop and tours, Achir Yani of Faculty of Nursing, Universitas Indonesia and leading nursing researcher on nurse migration and nursing workforce expressed optimism about progress towards closer nursing collaboration between Australia and Indonesia.

Professor Yani noted an important International Council of Nurses (ICN) position statement that individual nurses have the right to work anywhere and need to be recognised and protected.

“The very important thing is the follow-up of the peer results that we find in the identified gaps between the qualifications of Indonesian nurses and Australian nurses,” she said.

“The solution is that the collaboration is taken seriously, starting from the nursing accreditation standards.

Nursing researcher and delegate Eni Nuraini from the Indonesia National Nurses Association and Universitas Islam Negeri Syarif Hidayatullah said the workshop and tours had been “an extraordinary experience” with the chance to meet and discuss with key professional nursing bodies from both countries.

Eni said it was particularly enlightening to hear firsthand about the role of the ANMF in protecting and ensuring the quality of the nursing workforce.

“My visit to the School of Nursing at Monash University and Monash Health facilities has helped me better understand how the education and healthcare systems in Australia strive to support the competence of nurses from their education workforce,” she said.

“I am very grateful to the Australia-Indonesia Centre and Katalis for managing this event which has allowed us to gain valuable experience.”

Katalis will publish the two reports from this activity in the coming months.

Feature image by the AIC.


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