APNA’s Transition to Practice Program


Efi Madentzoglou is a current student of APNA’s Transition to Practice Program and she says the program has been a great support for her work as she moves from being a new graduate in nursing to further study and working in primary care roles.

As Rebekah Cox, APNA’s Co-ordinator for the program says: “This is an exciting and growing area of nursing. The latest data shows that by 2050, 80% of care will be undertaken in the home.”

NurseWatch CEO, Kate Spurway, is mentoring Efi Madentzoglou who first completed her Bachelor of Health Science and is now completing her two year post-graduate Masters of Nursing. Part of her post-graduate course is APNA’s Transition to Practice Program.

Kate set up NurseWatch as an innovative aged care company but prior to this, she worked as a registered nurse for many years. She says she’s excited to be part of the Transition to Practice Program: “This is a fairly new course and an accelerated program. It’s basically bridging the gap between studying and practising nursing. Primary care is so different because it focuses on prevention rather than treatment. It’s the progressive arm of nursing.”

“The program aims to contribute to workforce development and sustainability by supporting nurses recently graduated and new to primary health care. The Transition to Practice Program aims to contribute to workforce development and sustainability by supporting nurses recently graduated and new to primary health care. This assists with workforce retention as well,” she adds.

Transition to Practice Program new and exciting

Efi says she’s benefiting greatly from all the extra learning and mentoring which comes with the program. She adds: “My study was very broad. I could have specialised in paediatrics, mental health, anaesthetics or general ward. I chose to focus on primary health care and community health and I know now, this is what I’m supposed to be doing.”

When asked how she became interested in this area she says: “I’ve always wanted to help people but I never really considered it before because uni was so ‘hospital’ oriented. But now that I’m doing it, I’m really enjoying it and curious to see where it takes me.”

She says the mentoring helps because she meets with Kate one day per week and they go through her aims and what she wants to achieve. “We might look at doing a course and reflect on how we can put the theory into practice,” she adds.

Moving to Palliative Care

As part of the Transition to Practice Program, Efi works one day a week with Holdsworth House Medical Centre and she also does a community placement with Westmead Hospital, PEPA Placement for her palliative care. As well, she meets with Kate for a mentoring session each week.

Her next step is to complete a community placement with hospitals in Palliative Care. She says she’s looking forward to working in Palliative Care but knows it won’t be easy: “Yes, I’ve talked to people from Palliative Care and they’ve told me they found it difficult at times – but so rewarding.”

So far, Efi is halfway through her course and she says: “The course goes through basic care and basic skills along with all the extra information you need. We went through this at the start of the uni course but it’s nice to have a refresher, intertwined with more advanced information.”

“I may do the Immunisation Course and I’ve already done the Vena Puncture Course,” she adds. “We did a three-day Conference in Adelaide where we got to connect with other Primary Health Care workers, along with companies that provide products and up-to-date evidence-based solutions to the evolving problems we’re seeing as the population is growing older. We saw wound-care management as well as some Diabetes clinics.”

Nurse 2022 Pledge – Valued. Visible. Respected.

Efi says one of the highlights of the course was getting to pledge to be part of the future of Primary Health Care nursing– the Nurse 2022 Pledge. As Efi says: “It’s really saying we’re going to promote our role as nurses and support our profession by expanding our scope of practice and at the same time, ensure we’re educated properly.”

“It’s about educating our patients at the same time. If they can learn what do, they can advocate for themselves and they can take charge of their own care. Then we can make the whole team work smoothly and everything’s connected properly. People become more in charge of their lives,” she adds.

Empowering people to get better themselves

The basic premise of primary health care is to empower people to get better and to help them learn how they can do this. This is also the basic premise of NurseWatch, an aged care company which endeavours to help older people in their homes before they become unable to look after themselves.

Kate of NurseWatch, adds: “This is the basic premise of my aged care company, NurseWatch, as well. We recognise the importance of working with primary care to provide optimum health outcomes for our clients.”

NurseWatch provides aged care services in Sydney and Melbourne. For more information, connect with this service at www.nursewatch.com.au.

Photo by National Cancer Institute