Background: In 2021, the Austrian Research and Planning Institute in Health Care was commissioned to develop a concept for the implementation of Community (Health) Nursing in Austria and to issue a nationwide funding call. In addition, training offers for CNs should be developed.
Objectives: The primary objective of Community (Health) Nursing in Austria is to prevent the need for long-term care, to support people in remaining at home and to relieve the burden of family caregivers. In a broader sense, health, quality of life, well-being, empowerment, independence and autonomy of the target group(s) are to be promoted. The target groups are thus in particular older people living at home with a possible imminent or existing need for information or support in care and health matters, informal carers, families, as well as people from the age of 75 before the onset of a possible need for care. By 2024, 150 Community Nursing projects are to be piloted. The financial resources for the implementation were provided by the Recovery and Resilience Facility of the EU. The content-related support and networking of the pilot projects is carried out by the GÃ–G.
Methods: In reference to the Public Health Intervention Wheel and with the involvement of stakeholders (experts, federal states, etc.), a role profile was developed. Based on this, a funding call was drawn up and cities, municipalities and social welfare associations were invited to submit applications. A national coordination office for all pilot projects was set up; in addition to networking tasks, this office is also responsible for content-related accomaniment and the development of training offers.
Results: The approved projects (n=123) are very diverse in terms of content as well as in terms of the qualifications of the nurses, which makes the accompaniment over the next 2.5 years challenging. An external, theory-based evaluation is to examine these challenges in addition to the effects of the projects. The first projects started in March 2022. In order to facilitate a good start, there was a 2-day kick-off, weekly topic-related consultation hours (e.g. on PHIW, documentation, project management, etc.) as well as monthly half-day networking events. Quick-starter videos were made available via sharepoint, which make the most important topics easily accessible. The nurses can communicate directly with the GÃ–G via a specially set up mailbox.
Conclusion: The implementation of new roles in nursing of this magnitude is challenging, but also offers opportunities.