National Nursing Consortium (New Zealand)  Endorses the Aoteoroa/New Zealand Addiction Speciality Nursing Competency Framework 2012

After 5 years of hardwork by an Australasian DANA team and a nursing reference group in New Zealand, led by Dr Daryle Deering, the Aoteoroa/New Zealand Addiction Speciality Nursing Competency framework has now been endorsed by the National Nursing Consortium. Well done to all of those involved and committed to defining addiction nursing and its professional development pathway. The framework is an invaluable resource for nurses, managers, educators, planners and funders.

The letter from the National Nursing Consortium may be read by following this link

Standards and Competencies  for Alcohol and Drug Nursing – 2012 Further Update

DANA is  delighted to make available the Aotearoa New Zealand Addiction Speciality Nursing Competency Framework. It is a  knowledge and skills framework for nurses working in the addiction treatment specialty. The process for endorsement with the New Zealand National Nursing Consortium is underway. For more detailed information follow this link.

Standards and Competencies  for Alcohol and Drug Nursing – 2012 Update

The Standards Expert Reference Group which is mostly known as the SERG Committee has completed Stage 2 of their work. The result is the DANA Standards and Competencies document.  Actually there are  2 documents; an Australian and  a New Zealand document due to some differences in Alcohol and Drug Nursing in each country.

Discussions are underway with National Centre for Education and Training on Addiction (NCETA)  to complete the validation  phase of the project.

For now, the Australian document, DANA Nursing Standards and Competencies Australia is presented for your information.



Standards Expert Reference Group – SERG

An outcome of the 2009 DANA National Conference was the establishment of the Standards Expert Reference Group which, these days, is mostly known as the SERG Committee.

Its hard working members include:

  • Ms Margo Hickman (DANA President)
  • Professor Charlotte de Crespigny
  • Ms Tonina Harvey AM
  • Ms Ros Burnett
  • Ms Janice Ough
  • Ms Daryle Deering
  • Ms Louise Leonard
  • Ms Lynda Scott
  • Ms Janette Curtis
  • Mr Peter Athanasos.

By way of background, at the last three (2009-2011) DANA National Conferences we have held a workshop and delivered oral presentations to let participants know about how and why DANA has been developing and validating specialist standards for nurses working within all areas of the alcohol, tobacco and other drug (ATOD) specialist field in Australia and New Zealand.


Under legislation the national nursing registering authorities of each country are responsible for monitoring and ensuring that the public receives safe and professional nursing care. This means that nurses need to meet agreed standards of practice. If nursing performance is unprofessional, unethical, unsafe or illegal, the nursing and midwifery registering authority will refer to the relevant the standards to assess whether these have been met or not. That’s why DANA believes that standards and competencies applicable across all service delivery settings throughout New Zealand and Australia is vital.


An exhaustive international literature search conducted by DANA revealed a paucity of information about standards and competencies for ATOD Nurses and indeed did not clearly differentiate between the terms “Standards” and “Competencies”.  So began a two-staged project. In the first instance the goal was the development and validation by DANA of “Standards”. The second, and current, stage is the development of the requisite “Competencies” to meet the Standards for specialist ATOD Nurses.

Of course there have been considerable previous initiatives within Australia and New Zealand* aimed at identifying and describing the requisite ATOD nursing standards. This work has been localised and immensely useful to DANA in undertaking this trans-national project. For instance DANA has called extensively on the work done by the Nursing Service of the Drug and Alcohol Services South Australia (DASSA) and the New Zealand Matua Raki Project.

Clinicians, educators, researchers and other nurses from across Australia and New Zealand have participated in the DANA project. A survey of DANA members, their colleagues and contacts was undertaken in 2010 along with several focus groups to collect views and opinions about what elements should be included in the specialist standards.

Where are we now?

We now have validated contemporary specialist standards for ATOD nursing that are suited to the Australian and New Zealand context. These standards are or will become the framework that guides our practice. The culmination of this work will be available shortly in the “Final Stanards Report”.

Where to from here?

Stage two of the project will soon be underway; developing and validating the “Competencies” (nursing knowledge and practice) required to meet the Standards.

If you have an interest in being involved in this project do not hesitate to contact DANA either through your local chapter representative (see the “People” tab on this website for contact details) or via this website.


Use your mouse to click on the highlighted links  to find out  more:


*A Word about the Matua Raki Standards

The development of the New Zealand draft “Addiction Specialty Competency Framework” arose out of the 2008 Matua Raki Addiction Workforce report: Development of the advanced practice nursing strategy for the addiction treatment sector: a discussion document (Deering 2008).  A key recommendation in this report was the need to develop Addiction Speciality advanced practice nursing standards.  For the 2009/10 Matua Raki Project, the development of standards and competencies more broadly for Addiction Specialty nursing practice became the focus, with the overall aim being to describe the continuum of nursing practice and the role of the Specialist level nurse.

Acknowledging cultural and other contextual differences, discussions regarding the possibility of a congruent New Zealand Australian framework led to the Drug and Alcohol Nurses of Australasia (DANA) providing the professional nursing umbrella under which the framework would be developed.  A Standards  Expert Reference Group comprising New Zealand and Australian DANA members was formed to oversee this work.