Extraordinary and compassionate nurses within the alcohol and other drug health field

May 16, 2018

The 2018 Australian and New Zealand Addiction Conference will be held this month over Monday 28 and Tuesday 29 May with optional workshops on Wednesday 30 May at the QT Gold Coast.

Ms Samar Zakaria, Clinical Nurse Consultant at Drug Health Services SLHD joins us at the Conference to discuss ‘Extraordinary and compassionate nurses within the alcohol and other drug health field’.


In aim to future proof the strength and ability of the nursing workforce within the alcohol and other drug field a professional development framework has been developed.

This framework has been the result of consultation with the nursing workforce within a drug health service, and best practice advice from the Centre of Education and Workforce Development (CEWD) and Drug and Alcohol Nurses of Australasia (DANA), the peak nursing body representing drug and alcohol specialist nurses across Australia and New Zealand.

There is little in the way of literature around nursing succession planning within a clinical pathway and it was challenging to find an existing framework to guide the process. Consultation with the Drug Health nursing workforce was required to support the development of the Professional Development Framework. The current nursing structure within Drug Health Services, Sydney Local Health District was used to guide and collate the information in a cohesive and meaningful way.

The development of this framework aims to support the professional development and succession planning of the nursing workforce within the Drug Health Service. Supporting our workforce will ensure our nurses are highly and appropriately skilled, possessing up to date knowledge within a speciality service and therefore enabling and allowing positive outcomes for our clients and their families. This has also created an opportunity to develop and provide a transparent guide for nurses to plan and achieve their career goals within the alcohol and other drug health field.


Samar Zakaria has worked in diverse clinical settings as a nurse including; inpatient mental health services, inpatient and community drug and alcohol services, chemical use in pregnancy and hospital consult and liaison. Samar has a keen interest in multidisciplinary collaboration and clinical practice development. She is proficient in liaising with key stakeholders and believes in fostering optimism and hopefulness while working within a person centred and collaborative framework.

For more information on the upcoming 2018 Australian and New Zealand Addiction Conference please visit the conference website.



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