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Nursing Programmes Should Stem Tide

July 13, 2005

New Graduate Nursing Programmes Should Stem Tide Of Departing Nurses

The New Zealand Nurses Organisation is delighted at today’s (July 13) announcement by Health Minister Annette King that the Ministry of Health and district health boards will fund 600 positions for first year of practice nurses from mid-2006.

NZNO president Jane O’Malley said the announcement affirms NZNO’s view that funding a national nursing entry to practice programme is a very important measure in supporting the emerging nursing workforce.

“New graduate nurses’ first experiences in the workforce are crucial, for they will influence their long-term careers and attitudes to nursing,” said O’Malley. “We have to stop the tide of nurses, particularly younger nurses, leaving the profession. Support for new graduates will positively influence their future career plans and their commitment to nursing.”

NZNO believes this measure, along with others like the successfully negotiated district health board multi-employer collective agreement, is very important and a welcome addition to a package of measures including paid parental leave and pay equity initiatives.

“The new programme bodes well for other nursing initiatives like an extensive roll out of return-to-nursing programmes to encourage nurses who have left the nursing workforce back into nursing. Funding an initial 600 places is very reasonable, along with an expectation of increases to that number as funding allows,” O’Malley said.

ENDS

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