About PGNA

About the PGNA

The Psychogeriatric Nurse’s Association Australia Incorporated (PGNA) had its origins in the 1980s in Sydney. With the setting-up of Aged Care Assessment Teams (ACATs) throughout Sydney by the Australian Commonwealth Government, HACC money was made available to employ psychogeriatric nurses as members of such teams. Several Sydney psychogeriatric nurses began to meet on a regular basis as The Psychogeriatric Nurse’s Support Meeting in order to give professional support to each other in their unique roles as members of ACATs.

Eventually these nurses began to meet in conjunction with the then Section of Psychiatry of Old Age (now the Faculty of Psychiatry of Old Age). In December 1994 the members of The Psychogeriatric Nurses Support Meeting made a decision to become formally known as The Psychogeriatric Nurses’ Association (or PGNA) and formally constituted itself in March 1995.

By March 1995 the membership of PGNA extended to registered and enrolled nurses working in any field of psychogeriatrics, not just those employed to work on ACATs. Membership included nurses working in ACATs, Aged Care Facilities, Geriatric Departments of hospitals, Aged Care Psychiatry Departments of hospitals, community Mental Health teams, community Aged Care Psychiatry teams, Aged Day Care Centres, Dementia Support Teams and Universities.

Over the years since 1995 membership of the Association has grown from its Sydney origins to include members working in regional New South Wales, interstate, and even internationally. The current financial membership of the Association includes associate members. Associate members are professionals other than registered or enrolled nurses who either work in the field of psychogeriatrics or have an interest in this field.

At the time of its registration and incorporation with the NSW Office of Fair Trading the Association defined for itself what was meant by “psychogeriatric” and “psychogeriatric nurse”. These definitions are incorporated into the Association’s current Constitution & Rules. These definitions are worded at their broadest to encompass all those human conditions which fall under the umbrella of “psychogeriatric” – inclusive of mental illness / mental disorder in late life as well as cognitive impairment in late life.

PGNA does not attempt to compete or substitute itself for broader nursing associations or organisations such as the NSW Nurses and Midwives Association or The College of Nursing. The members of the PGNA Executive Committee are not employees of PGNA and give their time and services over and above their regular employment.

PGNA grew out of a need for its members to support each other professionally in the specialised field of psychogeriatric nursing. With an ever-increasing aging population PGNA is now poised to challenge policy makers at State and Federal levels to ensure that older people with a mental illness/mental disorder and/or a cognitive impairment are considered in health care planning process at Local Health District, State and Federal levels as well as the implementation of realistic plans to meet the service needs of such older people.

Further information about PGNA, its activity and membership of this Association can be found at the membership section of this site