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NZNO Wants Answers from Nursing Council


NZNO Wants Answers from Nursing Council

A group of 137 enrolled nurses have finally got justice, with the Minister of Health David Cunliffe acting on the recommendation of the Regulations Review Committee (RRC), made last year, that these nurses, who trained between 2000 and September 18, 2004, be called enrolled nurses.

In an historic move, the Minister tabled a notice of motion in Parliament today (September 10) revoking that part of the Nursing Council’s regulation changing the title of these nurses from enrolled nurse to nurse assistant.

 “The Minister should be congratulated on this action, after the Nursing Council refused to act on the RRC’s recommendation, even after the Minister wrote to the Council asking it to change the title for these nurses. Finally these nurses have got justice. This is the first time the House has taken such action against a regulatory authority under the Regulations (Disallowance) Act, so it is a very significant action. This is an important issue for nursing. The Nursing Council needs to understand it is accountable and cannot act beyond the powers and authority conferred on it by Parliament,” New Zealand Nurses Organisation Chief Executive Geoff Annals said today.

In 2004, the Nursing Council changed the title of enrolled nurses trained after 2000 to nurse assistant. The 137 nurses had begun their training or had graduated, believing their title was enrolled nurse. The RRC said the Council’s title change was retrospective in its effect and recommended the Council should rescind its decision in relation to this group of nurses. The Council has refused to do so.

Annals said the Council’s refusal to act on the RRC’s recommendation and the fact the Minister felt compelled to force the change, is an embarrassment for the Nursing Council.  “We don’t understand why the Council refused to act on the recommendation and we want answers from our profession’s regulatory body. All nurses have to have confidence that the Council will act fairly towards nurses in exercising its public safety mandate. In this case it patently did not,” Annals said.

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