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How Agency Nurses Can Assist in Australia’s Vaccination Rollout

Posted 3 months ago

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The Australian Government aims to have “the bulk” of under 50’s vaccinated by Christmas with 20 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine expected to arrive from October 2021. This is very good news for agency nurses as Scott Morrison is going to need a lot of help administering each and every dose. Inorder to best assist and importantly obtain agency work on your schedule, undertaking an immunisation training course will be worth your time. This post will explore the different options available to nurses in Victoria, to increase your chances of securing sustained work. 

Free Immunisation Course

The Australian Australian Government has partnered with the Australian College of Nursing to develop and deliver free and accredited training modules for individuals involved in the administration of COVID-19 vaccines. The aim of this program is to ensure the safe, effective management and delivery of the COVID-19 vaccine. 

The following is required to undertake this free course:

  • Completed routine immunisation training specific to nursing

  • Hold a current practicing registration 

  • Provide details of your Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) number and date of birth.

  • Must have authority to administer vaccines in your state

This free course consists of a number of modules which are compulsory for all health professionals wanting to supply and / or administer COVID-19 vaccinations. Each module has a series of multi-choice questions. You’ll have an unlimited number of attempts but 100% is required to pass each one.After completion of this course, you are required to work in conjunction with the medical team as you are not an independent immuniser. 

To find out more information on completing this course and undertaking important CPD hours, click this link and create a free account.  

The second free course is the COVID-19 vaccination training for health workers produced by the World Health Organisation (WHO) in collaboration with UNICEF, which consists of 6 modules, involving video lectures, quizzes, job aids, interactive exercises and downloadable presentations with the available information. It was developed specifically for frontline health workers. 

The course should only take you around 3 hours to complete, but you are free to go at your own pace. Participants who score 80% or higher on the course quizzes will receive a Record of Achievement certificate.

To find out more about this free course, click this link to be redirected to the WHO website.  

Paid Immunisation Courses 

If you’d like to become an independent immuniser, there are multiple courses on offer within Australia. 

  • The 307 Immunisation for Health Practitioners, which is run by the Australian College Of Nursing, costs $895.50 for members and $995 for non members and is fully online. You’ve got around 4 months to complete the online learning modules and there are no clinical requirements as part of this course. By completing this course you’ll receive the equivalent to 120 hours of CPD. Learn more by clicking here.

  • The Immunisation (Nurse Immuniser) course is run by the University of Melbourne (UoM) and costs $825 (incl. GST). This course appeals to some nurses because they offer an optional clinical placement where you can build your skills and master your immunisation technique. It will cost you about $130 in administration fees to organise this placement. If you’d like to learn more, click this link to be redirected to the UoM website. 

  • Understanding Vaccines and the National Immunisation Program is a popular course run by South Australia Health. This course is fully online and will cost participants $225 per user - significantly less than other immunisation courses. The course consists of 4 modules that must be completed in sequential order and participants have 20 weeks to complete the course from the date of purchase. From all accounts it’s quite tricky but you are provided with the resources to be successful. 70 CPD hours allocated to this course. This is an approved training program in South Australia, Western Australia, Victoria and the Northern Territory. To learn more, click here. 

  • The Immunisation Endorsement Pathway run by the Benchmarque Group Pty Limited,is an online, self paced course which requires participants to attend a face-to-face workshop inorder to be successful after completing the online modules. The course, including the workshop, costs $567 and you can take up to 12 months to complete it. I personally like the sound of this course due to the workshop. It’s exciting and allows for networking and personal growth. 

Anaphylaxis Preparedness Training 

Most vaccination clinics are requesting that nurse immunisers provide a certificate of anaphylaxis training (both for the Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines) in addition to the immunisation certificate. It’s imperative you’re prepared if somebody was to have a negative reaction to the vaccine. Though there are multiple courses available, this ecourse from the Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy (ASCIA) is highly regarded and worth investigating. 

Updates from the Victorian Health Department

In addition to the e-course, The Victorian Health Department have also released a new COVID-19 AstraZeneca supplementary training package and information about the vaccine. This training package is mandatory to complete for all emergency authorised workforce and for those working for non-state immunisation services this training can be completed at their own discretion. 

In summary, there is likely to be a huge demand for nurses to deliver the COVID vaccine in the coming months. This is an exciting time to secure more work and positively impact the public and the future health of the community. 

Have you completed an immunisation course in the past or in recent months? Let VNS know! This is vital information to helping you secure more shifts within immunisation clinics and hospitals in the future. 

Best of luck and happy immunising! 


Registered Emergency Nurse  

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