Australia is comparable in size to the United States, but its population is far smaller, approximately 17 million. Australia is technologically advanced and has a high standard of health care, in which ET nursing has always been considered a specialist nursing role. Although Australia is historically linked with England, formation of closer ties with geographic neighbors, such as Southeast Asia, New Zealand, and the Pacific nations, is ongoing. This article describes some relevant aspects of the Australian context and considers the past, present, and expected future trends for ET nurse education in Australia, from the first program in 1971 to current World Council of Enterostomal Therapy-recognized programs teaching students from as far away as Japan, Israel, Singapore, Malaysia, New Zealand, China, Russia, and New Guinea. The content of the programs has progressively broadened in recognition of the expanded scope of practice, and this trend will undoubtedly continue. ET nursing should remain, however, a distinct nursing specialty practice in Australia.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.