College History

1985 - Discussions on establishment of National body held in Brisbane

1990 - State branches of ASCCN - RANF agree to pursue amalgamation

1991 - Finally actioned amalgamation in 1991 to form CACCN

1999 - Australian College of Critical Care Nurses came into being

Although the ASCCN-RANF (Australian Society of Critical Care Nurses - Royal Australian Nursing Federation) and CNSA (Clinical Nurse Specialist Association) of Australia and New Zealand had individually developed in strength and direction, neither entity represented critical care nurses on national issues. In addition, there was confusion among nurses, the medical fraternity and the trade regarding the roles for each group. A national body was required to provide a strong national voice and improve networking between the states.

Under the leadership of S. A. Wilson, discussions took place in Brisbane in 1985 on the establishment of a national body. Within 12 months the Confederation of Australian Critical Care Nurses (CACCN) emerged; a positive step after years of disunity. Although not a truly national organisation - the journey had begun.

The CNSA and the ASCCN-RANF continued to pursue their own objectives; CNSA within NSW ad the ASCCN-RANF through its federal executive and State sub-branches. Confusion among nurses, ANZICS and the trade regarding the roles of what now appeared to be three organisations remained.

Despite the barriers and challenges involved, state branches of ASCCN-RANF agreed in 1990 to pursue amalgamation of ASCCN with CNSA and hence the formation of a single professional and national body for critical care nurses.

Amalgamation of CNSA and ASCCN-RANF finally took place in late 1991 with the formation of the Confederation of Australian Critical Care Nurses Incorporated (CACCN inc.) The structure of the organization was made up of a national executive and six State branches. It was to become an important avenue for communicating and networking with critical care nurses throughout Australia. The inaugural meeting of CACCN Inc. was held at the Austin Hospital in Victoria on Friday, November 15th 1991. The Confederation of Australian Critical Care Nurses Incorporated became the Australian College of Critical Care Nurses Ltd in 1999. [1]

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[1] V. Wiles & K.Daffurn, "There's a Bird in my Hand and a Bear by the Bed - I must be in ICU", The Pivotal Years of Australian Critical Care Nursing; Southward Press, Marrickville, NSW, 2002

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