Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search


Ministry Advice On Enrolled Nurses Flawed

2 September 2003

Ministry Advice On Enrolled Nurses Flawed

The New Zealand Nurses Organisation (NZNO) has strongly supported the call of the Otago District Health Board (DHB) chairman, Richard Thomson, to ignore a letter from the Ministry of Health recommending enrolled nurses (ENs) be restricted from working in acute wards, including psychiatric settings.

"The Ministry of Health's advice is flawed," says NZNO chief executive Geoff Annals.

"The recommendation's implications are enormous, given there are 4552 enrolled nurses in the country. The ministry has given no consideration to the skills and extra qualifications acquired by the ENs whom they are proposing be shifted out of acute settings. Most of these ENs have about 15 years' experience. This is more likely to increase risk to patient safety, not decrease it. We have a nursing shortage – inevitably any ENs who are moved will be replaced by lesser qualified and experienced staff."

Geoff Annals said it appeared the ministry had received very poor advice. Advisers appeared not to appreciate the difference between the skills of new graduate nurses and those of ENs who had been nursing for many years and gained a great deal of extra knowledge, skills and competencies.

"Instead of sending out such a directive, the ministry should have examined more carefully the Health and Disability Commissioner's recommendation, which was that ENs working in acute services receive adequate supervision and direction, as demanded by Nursing Council regulations," he said.

NZNO communicated yesterday to the ministry its concerns about this issue. NZNO is writing to all DHBs to support the continued employment of ENs. NZNO totally supports the employment of ENs and the regulation that they have adequate support from employers and other health professionals to ensure their working environment is safe.

"It is not up to the ministry to high-handedly declare that ENs should not be working in certain areas. This is a professional and management decision and should be made at the clinical level, according to the health care needs of patients.

"We know many other DHBs don’t support the ministry's position and will ignore this letter. It’s about time the ministry started to value ENs and their contribution to health care as the wider community does. Why can't the Ministry of Health do so too?" Annals asked.


© Scoop Media

Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines


Up $1.20: $17.70 Minimum Wage Next Year

Coalition Government signals how it will move toward its goal of a $20 p/h minimum wage by 2021... “Today we are announcing that the minimum wage will increase to $17.70 an hour on 1 April 2019." More>>


Reserve Bank: Capital Proposals Are 'Radical', Says Fitch

International credit rating agency Fitch says the Reserve Bank's proposals for increased bank capital adequacy ratios are "radical" and "highly conservative relative to international peers", but the result will ultimately be "significantly stronger buffers" against financial system shocks. More>>


Regions And Skills: Work Visa Proposals 'Step In The Right Direction'

Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway announced yesterday that the Government is consulting on proposed changes to employer-assisted temporary work visa settings to ensure that work visas issued reflect genuine regional skill shortages. More>>


Long Commutes: Hamilton To Auckland Passenger Rail Trial Gets Green Light

The NZ Transport Agency Board has approved a business case for the next steps in a start-up trial Hamilton to Auckland passenger rail service, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced. More>>


Working Group Update: Mycoplasma Bovis Eradication Making Substantial Progress

International experts are impressed by New Zealand’s efforts to eradicate the cattle disease Mycoplasma bovis and are more confident the campaign is working... More>>