A scoping review on determining Australian nurse engagement in eye care settings


Purpose: As the Australian population grows and ages, the demand for eye care services, and nurses to provide the services, is expected to increase. This will impact nurses, who are Australia’s largest health-care provider group. Understanding and mapping the current role and use of nurses in eye care is an essential first step for future health workforce planning and development. To map their engagement, we undertook a scoping review to gain an understanding of the current Australian nurse eye care workforce landscape, to help guide and support future workforce development activities. Secondly, we evaluated if publications in this field incorporated or mentioned the Australian Ophthalmic Nursing Association’s National Standards (Practice standards) in their publication. This review also offers other nations and eye care providers the opportunity to evaluate their own health workforce plan and nurse utility.

Study Design and Methods: We conducted a review of academic and grey literature, via various search engines, and an inclusion and exclusion criteria.

Results: We uncovered 11 publications. Of those, five were academic papers examining extended and advanced nursing practice, one was a letter to the editor, two were industry feature reviews, two were industry reports and the final was the Practice Standards. Key themes throughout indicated the benefit of nurse training and nurse involvement in eye care. Overall, there was insufficient information or data to describe nurse deployment, practice and utility. Finally, the Practice Standards were not referenced in any publication.

Conclusion: There is insufficient published information to calculate the level and involvement of nurses, or describe their existing role, advancement or future deployment in eye care in Australia. Without clear information, Australia is unable to develop effective health workforce strategies to attract, train, retain, and appropriately deploy nurses to meet future eye care needs.


Ophthalmic nurses, Australia, Health workforce, Eye care, Nurse specialists

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