Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


Celebrating The Work Of Nurses

May 10, 2002

Celebrating The Work Of Nurses On International Nurses Day

The theme for International Nurses Day (IND) this year is Nurses: Always there for you — Caring for Families. May 12 is the day the profession around the world marks its founder Florence Nightingale’s birthday.

This theme is somewhat ironic, given the state of nursing in New Zealand today and that IND falls on Mother’s Day, Nurses’ Organisation president Jane O’Malley says.

“There are not enough nurses. Those who have remained in our health system work in stressful conditions. Workloads are too often unsafe, patient care is too often compromised and nurses’ views and contributions are too often overlooked.”

O’Malley says nurses’ work environments do not reflect the fact 95 percent of the nursing workforce is women, most with family commitments.

“Many nurses are mothers who find it difficult to care for their own families while working as nurses. Nurses want better pay, more respect, more flexible working hours and more family-friendly policies, eg accessible childcare facilities, so they can care for their families as well as care for others.”

Nurses made up one third of the total health workforce and provided care in a huge variety of settings, from schools to factories, from remote rural communities to hi-tech specialised units in tertiary hospitals, and from birth to death. If nurses were under stress, the whole health system was under stress.

Problems recruiting and retaining nurses placed government health strategies at risk.

“NZNO welcomes this Government’s focus on primary care through the primary health care strategy but unless money is directed at recruiting, retaining and returning nurses to the workforce, the strategy can’t be implemented,” O’Malley said.

She also said health inequalities between Maori and non-Maori would not be eliminated while so few Maori entered nursing.

“When inequality is so obvious and Maori and Pacific health statistics so appalling, we must have strategies to attract Maori and Pacific people to nursing. We expect the Government to work with us to address this nursing crisis. It is a crisis not only for nursing but also for our whole health system. Against this background it is hard to find much to celebrate on International Nurses’ Day. But despite their difficult working conditions, nurses continue to provide care to communities, families and individuals. Nursing care continues to makes a difference in people’s lives and that is always worth celebrating,” O’Malley said.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Breed Laws Don’t Work: Vets On New National Dog Control Plan

It is pleasing therefore to see Louise Upston Associate Minister for Local Government calling for a comprehensive solution... However, relying on breed specific laws to manage dog aggression will not work. More>>


Corrections Corrected: Supreme Court Rules On Release Dates

Corrections has always followed the lawful rulings of the Court in its calculation of sentence release dates. On four previous occasions, the Court of Appeal had upheld Corrections’ practices in calculating pre-sentence detention. More>>


Not Waiting On Select Committee: Green Party Releases Medically-Assisted Dying Policy

“Adults with a terminal illness should have the right to choose a medically assisted death,” Green Party health spokesperson Kevin Hague said. “The Green Party does not support extending assisted dying to people who aren't terminally ill because we can’t be confident that this won't further marginalise the lives of people with disabilities." More>>


General Election Review: Changes To Electoral Act Introduced

More effective systems in polling places and earlier counting of advanced votes are on their way through proposed changes to our electoral laws, Justice Minister Amy Adams says. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Our Posturing At The UN

In New York, Key basically took an old May 2 Washington Post article written by Barack Obama, recycled it back to the Americans, and still scored headlines here at home… We’ve had a double serving of this kind of comfort food. More>>


Treaty Settlements: Bills Delayed As NZ First Pulls Support

Ngāruahine, Te Atiawa and Taranaki are reeling today as they learnt that the third and final readings of each Iwi’s Historical Treaty Settlement Bills scheduled for this Friday, have been put in jeopardy by the actions of NZ First. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Damage De-Regulation Is Doing To Fisheries And Education, Plus Kate Tempest

Our faith in the benign workings of the market – and of the light-handed regulation that goes with it – has had a body count. Back in 1992, the free market friendly Health Safety and Employment Act gutted the labour inspectorate and turned forestry, mining and other workplace sites into death traps, long before the Pike River disaster. More>>

Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news