All Posts tagged nursing

Endurance in Drug & Alcohol Nursing

Endurance in Drug & Alcohol Nursing

For the fourth year running e-GPS provided comprehensive Twitter coverage of key messages from the annual DANA Drug and Alcohol Nurse’s Forum.

DANA (Drug and Alcohol Nurses of Australasia) is the peak nursing organisation in Australasia providing leadership to nurses and midwives with a professional interest in Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drug (ATOD) issues.

Endurance was the theme of this year’s forum and stories of endurance abounded both from the podium and the floor. Nurses, psychologists, social workers networking and sharing experiences working in the Drug and Alcohol sector.

Tweeting Like a Boss

Here’s a rundown of what e-GPS achieved in terms of gaining followers and disseminating key information from sessions throughout the day.

The unique conference hashtag #DANAForum17 was registered with Symplur Healthcare Hashtag project and you can check out the numbers (number of impressions, retweets and key influencers) on the Symplur website.

  • The total number of impressions of #DANAForum17 key messages during the week of the conference was over 1.1 Million!
  • A total of 732 Tweets by 66 participants is a record for any DANA Forum.
  • @DANAnews1 increased their number of Twitter followers from 683 to 713



Where can I view Tweets from the Forum?

For a full recap of the forum proceedings go to Twitter and search #DANAForum17

Each year e-GPS improves @DANAnews1 Twitter engagement with the Drug and Alcohol sector by building relationships with key stakeholders, promoting the forum, scheduling posts and tweeting key messages on the day to reach a wide social media audience.

Contact @e-GPS via Twitter or email alison[at]




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