Bold plan to help women with major problem

One hundred specially trained endometriosis nurses will be stationed in regional, rural and remote parts of the countryPicture: NCA NewsWire / Martin Ollman

One hundred endometriosis nurses will be specially trained up and stationed in regional, rural and remote parts of the country to help improve the outcomes for the hundreds of thousands of Australians afflicted with the chronic disease.

An estimated one in seven Australian women and girls are affected by endometriosis, a condition where tissue similar to the lining of the womb grows outside the uterus.

It takes about 6.5 years on average for someone to be diagnosed, while those living in regional and remote parts of the country experience more significant delays.

Endometriosis Australia will help train 100 specially skilled endo nurses for regional, rural and remote Australia. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Martin Ollman

Now, Endometriosis Australia, in partnership with the Australian College of Nurses, will launch a scholarship program to upskill nurses to help more women and girls get diagnosed quicker.

A trained endo nurse is able to help identify the signs and symptoms of endometriosis and assist in the treatment of management.

Lucy Downey, who recently graduated from the Australian College of Nursing with a specialisation in endometriosis and chronic pain and is now working in her rural community of Woolgoologa on the NSW mid-north coast, said upskilling more nurses would improve lives.

“Nurses are advocates for patients, and we have so much more time to spend with them than doctors or other healthcare professionals,” she said.

“If we are upskilled in conditions like endometriosis, it means we have the potential ability to recognise the signs and symptoms faster, even through seemingly unrelated conversations with patients, ultimately improving the quality of are patients receive.

“The fact that this new scholarship is focused on upskilling nurses in regional and rural areas is important to improving care for those who could have potentially gone undiagnosed, or experienced a significant delay in diagnosis.”

Endometriosis Australia will use government grants and community donations to deliver the 100 trained endo nurses, with each scholarship to cost $2900.

It follows an announcement from the federal government that Tuesday’s budget would include a $49.1m investment into tackling the disease.

From July 1, 2025, women suffering from the debilitating disease will have longer specialist consultations of 45 minutes or more covered under Medicare.