All Posts tagged DANA

What is a Standard Drink?

What is a Standard Drink?

How do you measure a Standard Drink- this infographic shows the actual alcohol content in a std drink

The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) have released an infographic about the number of standard drinks in any one alcoholic beverage. Based on the National Australian Guidelines to Reduce Health Risks from Drinking Alcohol (2009) the plain facts may surprise some people.

Read the NHMRC FAQs here for more information on risks associated with alcohol consumption and find out whether there is such a thing as safe drinking levels.


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Drug and Alcohol Nurses of Australasia @DANAnews1

Australian Drug Foundation @AustDrug



Keep Calm and Speak Up!

Keep Calm and Speak Up!

Drug and Alcohol Nurses Speak Up

Reducing harm from substance misuse in Australia and New Zealand is in part dependent on having a skilled, effective and adaptable healthcare workforce. With an ageing population, the demand for workers in healthcare and social assistance is set to outstrip all other sectors. 1  But it’s not only the population that is ageing, the nursing workforce itself is aging. Half of all nurses right now are over 45 years.2 In 2014 many are already reaching retirement age and more still are working beyond the age of 65.


Speak Up with Social Media

This can only mean one thing - we need to engage with younger nurses and encourage them into this specialist field. How better to do this?  Via social media of course!.

Drug and Alcohol Nurses of Australasia, better known as DANA, is already engaging with the new generation of nurses through Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. DANA made it their mission to embrace a media that may not be entirely natural to many of their current members, but recognises that increasingly we are turning to social media for health information, both personal and professional.   Speaking a digital health language that highlights emerging trends, digital health technology, apps and wearables, keeps organisations like DANA on-trend in a rapidly changing healthcare system.


Speaking Up with Twitter

In a first for DANA, dedicated conference tweeters, e-GPS will be present and tweeting live from key sessions at this year’s DANA ‘Speak-Up’ Conference. Twitter is an integral part of conferencing these days and DANA will be sharing plenary sessions and substance misuse research in real-time to followers across multiple social media networks.

Follow @DANAnews1 and use the official conference hashtag #DANAConf2014 in all your posts.


The DANA Speak Up Conference

DANA believes that it’s time for nurses to speak up about what they do to reduce the harm from alcohol, tobacco and other drugs; to speak up about how they make a difference and to speak up on important issues that fall within the sphere of expertise of drug and alcohol nurses.

At the 2014 DANA Conference we will be speaking up:

  • about the  work of drug and alcohol nurses
  • about the important role nurses play in reducing the toll from alcohol, tobacco and other drugs
  • for colleagues struggling with alcohol, tobacco and other drug problems
  • for those who cannot speak or who have no voice
  • to make the voice of nurses heard

There will also be special workshops about ‘Pain Management’ and ‘Nurses, the Media and Speaking Up’

Come along. Register now. The conference is being held at The Mecure Sydney from June 17-20th.


Making Your Voice Heard

You’re just a few steps away from joining the social media network and becoming a valuable voice in the DANA Twitter conversation.


1. Follow @DANAnews1


2. Start using the official conference hashtag   #DANAConf2014


3. Register for the DANA Speak Up Conference


4. Speak Up using social media

  • Tell your followers about the conference
  • Share DANA’s Facebook and LinkedIn posts across your networks


Above all, encourage conversations about the amazing work nurses from all sectors are doing every day to reduce harm from substance misuse. The more young nurses and health professionals learn about this area of healthcare, the more likely we are to have a rich, varied and digitally advanced nursing workforce to go on caring for our communities into the future.


DANA looks forward to welcoming you to Sydney for the Speak Up conference 17-20 June 2014. Register at the DANA Conference Website


‘Speak your mind even if your voice shakes’ - Maggie Kuhn, Grey Panthers activitst

The Drug and Alcohol Nurses of Australasia conference theme in 2014 is Speak Up! go to to register




1. National Centre for Education and Training on Addiction (NCETA) and Flinders University, Adelaide SA, 2013.

2. Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2003

3. Sydney Morning Herald, 2 May, 2014


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Becoming a Credentialled Drug and Alcohol Nurse

Becoming a Credentialled Drug and Alcohol Nurse

What is Credentialling?

Credentialling is a process of professional validation by which an individual nurse may be designated as having established professional nursing practice standards.1

 The Drug and Alcohol Nurses of Australasia (DANA) have developed the Pathways to Credentialling Program which provides Drug and Alcohol nurses the opportunity to:

  • Validate their experience, knowledge and expertise;
  • Distinguish themselves as drug and alcohol nurses;
  • Enhance their professional confidence;
  • Retain a strong professional identity as a Credentialled Drug and Alcohol Nurse;
  • Enhance career opportunities;
  • Provide for a consistent standard of practice; and
  • Contribute to better patient outcomes.


Darren Smyth is a Nurse Practitioner in Drug and Alcohol at NSW Justice Health & Forensic Mental Health Network. He recently became a Credentialled Drug and Alcohol Nurse (CDAN) and we talked about his experience with the credentialling process.


What has becoming a credentialled Drug and Alcohol nurse brought to your practice?

Along with five of my colleagues, I was credentialled in August, only a few months ago. Credentialling has not changed the way I practice. However, even though I am a Nurse Practitioner, being a CDAN specifically recognises the educational preparation and range of experience that I have gained in my career as a specialist drug and alcohol nurse.

An RN who has gained the required knowledge and skill base should consider applying to become credentialled.  This is a peer review process and it recognises not just one’s educational achievements but the broad range of experience that is necessary to achieve a specialist standard in the field.  It can also be useful to prospective employers to know that the drug and alcohol nurse they employ has achieved a recognised benchmark.  Moreover there is a move across all health care disciplines to have their own credentialling process.

Once credentialled, the CDAN is recognisable as a specialist, one who is able to take on additional responsibilities and leadership roles in the clinical area while providing a highly specialised standard of care and contributing to better patient outcomes.


Did you have to complete any post-graduate study in Drug and Alcohol nursing before becoming credentialled?

No, because I had already acquired a Masters of Nursing to meet the Nurse Practitioner requirements. But it’s not just about education.  I was able to use my experience with multidisciplinary committees, management of clients with complex substance use issues and my experience in designing and implementing policy and procedure around Drug and Alcohol when I applied for credentialling. Also because I’ve been through the application process for my Nurse Practitioners award, I was prepared for the high standards expected when applying to become a CDAN.

For an RN who is interested in specialising in Drug and Alcohol nursing there are a number of post-graduate courses available online. The Australian College of Nursing offers a Graduate Certificate in Drug and Alcohol.  Courses are also available through Universities in each state and territory. Some of these organisations also provide scholarships from time to time.

But I would like to stress that becoming a CDAN is not just about education. A nurse’s entire drug and alcohol career experience is also taken into consideration.


What are the benefits of becoming Credentialled?

Credentialling is intended to enhance the quality of care that is provided to patients and consumers of Drug and Alcohol (D&A) services. Credentialling is designed to provide a standard of experience and professional preparation against which drug and alcohol nurses can benchmark their own experience and skills

In doing so, credentialling can also serve to promote career advancement and open up employment prospects. Importantly, credentialling allows D&A nurses to retain a strong sense of professional identity.


Moving forward, what are your hopes for credentialing in the area of D&A?

It’s early days for the DANA Pathways to Credentialling Program.  At the moment we want as many nurses as possible to know about the Pathways Program so you will see DANA Credentialling Committee representatives at many nursing conferences across Australia speaking to groups of nurses about the benefits of credentialling.


Credentialling through DANA

Nurses who are credentialled through Drug and Alcohol Nurses Australasia (DANA) receive the award for 3 years. At the end of that time there is an opportunity to undergo a re-credentialing process.2


The Application Process

When nurses apply for credentialling as a CDAN, their submission is put before a peer review committee, the Credentialling Advisory Committee, where their educational preparation as well as their  professional, clinical, and  management practices are assessed.

Applicants need to demonstrate their educational preparation as well as their experience working at an advanced level. This may include, but is not necessarily limited to;

-       Participation in multidisciplinary committees;

-       Involvement in management of clients with complex substance use issues; and

-       Experience in handling the ethical issues that arise from D&A nursing practice.

-       Quality Improvement (QI) activities

-       D&A Policy or Procedure development and implementation

-       A detailed case study including a comprehensive D&A assessment.

-       Evidence of an education project submission.

-       A Personal Statement reflecting their professional journey 3


For more information about Drug and Alcohol Nursing Credentialling process go to:

DANA website and click on the ‘credentialling’ tab


D&A Nurses can Join DANA here -  benefits of professional membership include:

  • A sense of professional identity
  • Annual conferences
  • Networking opportunities
  • Professional development opportunities including scholarships, workshops and seminars
  • Access to D&A nursing information, resources and partnerships with other organisations.



@DANAnews1 on Twitter


Drug and Alcohol Nurses Australasia on Facebook



1. Coalition of National Nursing Organisations (CONNO) – National Nurse Credentialling Framework July 2011

2. DANA online Credentialling

3. DANA Online Credentialling Application Package and Guidelines September 2013 pdf