Collaboration on Nurse Specialist program

Parkinson’s NSW and Charles Sturt University collaborate on Nurse Specialist program for western NSW

Charles Sturt University is collaborating with Parkinson’s NSW and the Western NSW Primary Health Network (WNSW PHN) on a four-year Movement Disorder Nurse Specialist Pilot Program to assist people living with neurological conditions in western NSW – including Parkinson’s.

The program is now recruiting 12 registered nurses to participate in the program. Applications close on Sunday 15 November.  More information on WNSW PHN’s Movement Disorder Nurse Specialist Pilot and expressions of interest are available online at

It is a community-focused initiative to improve access to specialised nursing care for people living with neurological conditions, including Parkinson’s disease in the western NSW region.

Associate Professor of Nursing Rachel Rossiter of the Charles Sturt School of Nursing, Midwifery and Indigenous Health is the research and evaluation consultant for the program. It will extend to the South Australian border – including Bourke, Wentworth, Balranald, and Broken Hill in the west, and east to Bathurst, Mudgee, and other localities.

“This program is a strong example of Charles Sturt University’s focus on collaborations with health care services to make a practical difference for our communities,” Professor Rossiter said.

“The nursing model of care for this project has been strongly informed by the research funded by Parkinson’s NSW that our research team has undertaken over the past three years.”

CSU researchers Vince and Rachel presenting their research poster at the 2019 World Parkinson Congress

Parkinson’s NSW CEO, Ms Jo-Anne Reeves, said she is committed to this partnership.

“This program will be instrumental in helping to build knowledge around Parkinson’s in rural and remote communities, and we’re looking forward to supporting and working with the 12 successful applicants,” she said.

WNSW PHN CEO Mr Andrew Harvey said the pilot program will substantially improve health outcomes for patients in the region by providing more trained staff in more readily accessible locations for patients.

“This pilot program is a first for our region, and applications are open now,” Mr Harvey said.

“The program will remove the barriers for 12 Registered Nurses to access theoretical knowledge, practical skills through supported industry placements, and ongoing mentoring and networking support, ultimately leading to a sustainable and customised model of care for patients.”

The steering committee for the Movement Disorder Nurse Specialist Pilot Program includes the President of Parkinson’s NSW David Veness as well as key people from the Western NSW Local Health District, the Far West Local Health District, the Primary Health Network, the Outback Division of General Practice, Maari Ma Health Aboriginal Corporation, the Australasian Neuroscience Nurses Association – Movement Disorder chapter, a community member with lived experience of Parkinson’s disease, and a community carer.

Western NSW Primary Health Network (WNSW PHN), is one of 31 Primary Health Networks across Australia, established to support frontline health services and increase the efficiency and effectiveness of primary health care.


  • Charles Sturt University School of Nursing, Midwifery, and Indigenous Health
  • Western NSW Primary Health Network