Crossing Boundaries: An acute hospital and a Renal Service collaborate on a renal education program for nurses

Catherine Phillips1, Ria Gilham1

1Royal Hobart Hospital, Hobart, Australia


A three-month Renal Excellence in Practice Program, beginning in March 2021 for nurses throughout the Tasmanian Health Service. This program comprised three contact days for learning and meeting health professionals involved in the Renal Service, Online learning packages via Kidney Health Australia and the Renal Society of Australasia (RSA), and a work integrated project by participants relevant to their area of work. Participants range from inpatient to outpatient services across the service adding a level of complexity to designing the curriculum.

People with kidney failure navigating the health system meet a range of professionals at different stages of their disease, however these health professionals rarely meet each other. The Renal Excellence in Practice Program has been a valuable opportunity to connect members of the nursing team and other Renal Health Professionals, encouraging collaboration to improve patient outcomes.

Developing nursing staff with specialist renal knowledge and skills has been recognised as an area of need for both our hospital and Renal services, in meeting the health needs of the Tasmanian community. Changes in models of care for our renal patients with exploration of community dialysis based care model has further highlighted this need.

The program aims to increase the confidence, knowledge and skills of Renal Unit, ward and community nurses in providing a person-centred care approach with our renal patients. Building knowledge of knowledge translational through an integrated project and sourcing evidence for practice will enable systems to be put in place to standardize care, supporting succession planning and patient safety.


Ria is a Clinical Nurse Educator in Nephrology Services, supporting nursing staff in home therapies, the in-centre dialysis unit, and the Acute Renal Unit. She completed Master of Nursing in 2020.

Ria is a mum, veggie gardener, knitter, dog wrangler, cat servant, food preserver, whiskey connoisseur and would-be artist.

Catherine is a Clinical Nurse Educator covering the Medical Specialties Unit. She has a Graduate Diploma in Clinical Nursing and Teaching. Catherine’s areas of interest are gastroenterological and renal nursing with emphasis on growing nurses in these areas. Catherine spends much of her time with her cat fur son Benny.