Guidance on Return to Work Duties

Nurses are an essential part of the health care system and the importance of assisting them to remain in their chosen profession, even after an injury, cannot be underestimated. This project aimed to develop guidance for health care facilities on a model process for the identification of suitable Return to Work (RTW) duties for injured/ill nurses.

Cornerstones of the guidance are:

  • a holistic, proactive approach
  • a "bottom up" approach, driven by direct care nurses, while securing support from senior management and promoting a whole of hospital approach
  • a simple and sustainable process that can be facilitated in house, without an expert, wherever possible
  • promotion of a link between OHS injury prevention and improved RTW
  • maximisation what nurses can, rather than can't do.

This guidance is about nurses, for nurses. It includes practical resource tools to assist health and aged care facilities to identify suitable RTW duties for injured/ill nurses that:

  • are meaningful and enable them to utilise their skills, knowledge and experience
  • enable nurses to remain in a clinical/nursing role wherever possible
  • promote sustainable RTW outcomes.

The tools will assist Return to Work Coordinators and others involved in nurses' RTW to perform their role more effectively, dealing with what has traditionally been a most challenging area.

The guidance and tools promote active participation, ownership and buy-in by nurses and their managers in the RTW process, tailoring individual needs to the local ward/facility level.

Download guide (986kb)