“Opening Night” – the experience of creating and leading a new team, and the experience of commissioning a new Emergency Department

Vanessa Gorman1

1Northpark Private Emergency Department, Bundoora, Australia


Evaluate the experience of commissioning a new Emergency Department, and strategies for building a new emergency team from the nurse manager perspective.


Review the requirements needed for commissioning of a new emergency department from the nurse unit managers perspective.

Retrospectively evaluate the core values and needs for building a successful team.

Understand and evaluate the strategies and phases of the recruitment process when building a new emergency nursing team.

Review of recommendations from governing bodies such as College of Emergency Nursing and Australian College of Emergency Medicine.


In November 2016 the Emergency Department was successfully opened in one of Australia’s biggest growth corridors to help meet the needs of the local community.  There was successful recruitment of a highly skilled emergency nursing team that also met the needs of the community and organisation. A strong foundation was set for the new emergency nursing team to be successful and inspired with a focus towards ongoing professional development and the provision of excellent quality emergency care.


During the planning phases for the commissioning of a new Emergency Department it is important to understand the needs of the community when building a highly skilled, motivated and dedicated emergency nursing team. Understanding the requirements and aspects of building a successful team is core during the recruitment phase to ensure you have the ‘right people for the right job’.


Vanessa Gorman commenced her emergency nursing career in 1996 at Austin Hospital, Melbourne. Across her 20 year career in emergency nursing she has held positions such as Associate Unit Manager, Nurse Unit Manager, Project Manager, Senior Policy Advisor – Department of Health, Bed Access Coordinator, Nursing Educator and State Trauma Manager. Vanessa holds an enduring passion for trauma nursing and is an accredited international trauma coder and actively works with the State Trauma Registry in Victoria. Vanessa holds post-graduate qualifications in Emergency Nursing and is currently completing a Masters in Health Services Management through Monash University. Vanessa is an appointed member to the International Advisory Council for the Emergency Nursing Association (USA), which aims to make improvements within emergency nursing globally.  Vanessa is dedicated to improving nursing work conditions with a particular interest in fatigue management. In 2015 she was co-lead in a Worksafe Victoria project with a focus on fatigue management for Emergency Nurses.