News bulletin 6 August

on 6 August


Welcome to the College of Nurses – News Update.
No. 214 Wednesday 6 Aug 2014


From NZ media this week

200 more training places for graduate nurses
Health minister Tony Ryall has announced the Government will fund up to 200 additional training places for nurse graduates next year.

Graduate nurses put pressure on Ryall - King
Moves by the Government to increase the number of training placements for nursing graduates will be seen for what they are - a cynical election ploy, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says.

Nurses to get extra funding
An announcement the Government will fund 200 extra places for graduate nurses from next year has been well received in Manawatu, although concerns the promise could be an election ploy have been raised.

Health workers vote for mass strike
Twelve thousand health workers have voted to strike in what the PSA union says will be the sector's biggest industrial action in a decade.

Long nursing career ends for pioneer
A Masterton woman who has helped grow Selina Sutherland Hospital from a six-bed ward into a full surgical facility has decided to retire on a high note.

Midwives sanctioned for substandard care
The health and disability commissioner has sanctioned two midwives for failing to recognise the seriousness of their clients' cases.

Nursing faces staffing crisis: advisor
More than 500 nurses in Marlborough and Nelson will reach retirement age in the next 10 years, leaving the region exposed to a skills shortfall, a nursing union says.

Concern over bad prospects for nursing
More graduate nursing and permanent positions need to be opened up in Marlborough, says a registered nurse in Blenheim.
Those who could not secure a hospital job had to work at a rest home, where the pay was atrocious, she said.

Petition generates progress for new nurses
Last week the New Zealand Nurses Organisation (NZNO) launched a petition to get a nurse entry to practice (NEtP) programme for every new graduate nurse. This week, and more than 7,000 signatures later, we are very pleased to hear the Government’s announcement that they will fund 200 more NEtP places in 2015.

More scholarships for nurse graduates
The government is investing an extra $1.5 million to give 25 graduate nurses scholarships to work in general practices in some of New Zealand’s higher need communities next year.

Sick doctors taking their bugs to work
Sickly doctors could be infecting Wellington patients, with an alarming number of them dragging themselves into work despite knowing the risk.

Call for innovative health IT ideas
Health Minister Tony Ryall is encouraging health professionals to take part in the annual Clinicians’ Challenge by submitting their IT solutions to improve health services.

From international media sources this week

Patient safety tool: American Sentinel University's HAI prevention e-book for nurses
American Sentinel University in Aurora, Colo., has released a free e-book called "Are You Prepared to Identify and Prevent the Three Infections That Make Up Two-Thirds of All Healthcare Associated Infections?"

Texas A&M fills primary care gap with launch of new Family Nurse Practitioner program
College of Nursing fills primary care gap with launch of new Family Nurse Practitioner program
BRYAN, Texas — The Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Nursing has announced plans for a Master of Science in Nursing - Family Nurse Practitioner (M.S.N.-FNP) graduate program. This program was recently approved by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and is expected to launch in January 2015, pending final approval from the Texas Board of Nursing.

Emergency nurses 'feel like scapegoats'
Emergency nurses have been "thoroughly demoralised by the extent to which they feel vilified for simply trying to provide the highest possible standards of patient care," the Royal College of Nursing has said.

Overweight doctors and nurses told to slim down by NHS chief
The 700,000 NHS staff classed as overweight or obese must shed their excess pounds in order to get a good example to patients, the head of the health service says

Hourly rounds for nurses reduces call light use, study finds
Hourly rounds schedules for nurses in acute-care hospitals may improve patient safety and overall patient satisfaction, according to a study published in the Journal for Healthcare Quality.

Kentucky NPs now prescribe without physician oversight
Nurse practitioners in Kentucky are now able to prescribe some medications without having a collaborative agreement with a physician, making it easier for them to open their own practices, advanced practice nurse leaders said.

DHB specific

Safety fears as flu surge hits hospital
Wellington Hospital is being stretched by winter sickness, with some emergency department patients waiting more than six hours for a bed.

Noise stresses hospital staff
Christchurch Hospital staff are wearing earplugs to block out noise and are complaining of stress as earthquake repairs drag on.

Costly surgeons targeted
Health insurer Sovereign hopes to drive down the cost of treatment for policyholders by reining in the highest-charging surgeons and specialists.

Cost-cutting leaves DHB staff stressed
Cost-cutting at Hutt Valley District Health Board has left staff stressed and confused, and even the chief executive admits workers have lost trust and that the organisation's culture has been damaged.

Hospital pushed to limit as flu hits hard
Cases of winter flu have spiked up to twice the national rate in Auckland, with hospitals reporting a surge in admissions.

DHB in $3.24m deficit
The Taranaki District Health Board's books are heading in the right direction despite posting an unaudited loss of more than $3 million

Schemes aid DHB staffing levels
There has been a flurry of complaints about staff vacancy levels at the MidCentral District Health Board - but the situation is actually improving.

Health Needs Assessment Update Released
MidCentral District Health Board and Whanganui DHB populations have higher proportions of groups with higher health needs (Maori, social-economically disadvantaged people, and older people) compared to New Zealand, a health needs assessment of the regions has found.

MDHB involved in Enhanced Recovery after Surgery (ERAS) project
MidCentral District Health Board, like other DHBs, is taking part in the national Enhanced Recovery after Surgery (ERAS) programme aimed at improving patient outcomes and recovery after orthopaedic surgery.

Cost of health services scrutinised
The cost of the Ngati Porou Hauora Maori health service is becoming hard to sustain, chief executive Rose Kahaki says.

Group mulls East Coast health hub
A consultancy group is examining how long-term health services will be provided on the East Coast and where to base them
Te Runanganui o Ngati Porou, Ngati Porou Hauora and Tairawhiti District Health are working together to look at how they can be improved.

Winter ailments inundate Tauranga Hospital
Tauranga Hospital is experiencing high demand from people suffering from winter ailments.
Bay of Plenty District Health Board medical director Dr Hugh Lees said: "We are currently experiencing high numbers of presentations and admissions."

Hospital has high rate of cancelled operations
People not showing up, lack of equipment and lack of beds are just some of the reasons Wairarapa Hospital is forced to cancel or postpone surgeries on the day they are to go ahead.

Mental health

Clinic wants to expand Maori unit
The country's largest forensic mental health unit wants to expand its Maori unit because of its success in patient rehabilitation.
Patients at Auckland's Mason Clinic have been referred from mental health services, prisons, and the courts.

Patient safety

 Patient Safety Week 3–7 November – HOLD THE DATE!
The Health Quality & Safety Commission is excited to introduce Patient Safety Week – to be held this year from Monday 3 to Friday 7 November 2014. The week is intended to create focus, energy and momentum, and raise awareness of the importance of patient safety through a concentrated burst of activities over five days.
There will be three complementary focuses for Patient Safety Week 2014:

      •   Dr Jim Bagian – US expert in human factors in patient safety
      •   Let’s PLAN for better care – a health literacy initiative for primary care settings
      •   Celebrating Open for better care (and the Open/First, Do No Harm partnership in the
          Northern region) in secondary care, and continuing to raise awareness of the importance of
          providing safe, quality care.

Public health

NZ makes plans for ebola outbreak
Virologist says spread possible after American on flight to Nigeria adds to toll of 670 from contagious disease

Could Ebola reach New Zealand?
The worst Ebola disease outbreak on record is unlikely to reach New Zealand from west Africa, the Ministry of Health's director of public health says.

Health research

More Maori patients and their whanau are finding ways to access palliative care
Resourceful and resilient Māori patients and their whānau are increasingly finding pathways through the numerous obstacles they face in order to access palliative care as the number of older Maori grows, evidence shows.

Social health

Student eye checks after shock tests
A global charity will test children's eyes in 16 low-income parts of New Zealand after an initial test found that 63 per cent of children at a West Auckland primary school needed full eye examinations.

Drugs, alcohol and smoking

Dope smokers 'muddying waters'
Debate over medical cannabis has been hijacked by "nuisance" campaigners who are making it harder for people with serious diseases, says Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne.

Call for ban to extend to e-cigarettes
They may be faking it but e-cigarette smokers could soon be tarred with the same brush as real smokers.

Alcohol limits to be lowered
Legislation to lower adult drink-driving limits from December 1 has passed its final reading in Parliament.

Lower drink-drive limit 'will save lives'
The lower drink-driving limit will save lives, supporters say, but should not prevent people having an after-work tipple.
The new law, passed on Wednesday and coming into effect on December 1, lowers the legal blood alcohol concentration from 0.08 per cent to 0.05 per cent.


Tick still the right answer
Kiwis would gain an extra 0.7kg each year were it not for the Heart Foundation's tick, researchers say.

Call for obesity to be disability
Obesity in New Zealand is a ticking timebomb and it should be classed as a disability, says Marlborough's new disability spokesman.

Social media

Experts warn over use of health apps
The explosion of medical apps available to download for iPhones and Android has doubled to 100,000 since 2011 and in the next three years it’s predicted half of the world’s 3.5 billion smartphone users will have one.  But experts are warning consumers to use common sense when downloading health apps.

Nursing in history

WWI: Nurse's selfless courage at sea
Isabel Clark among 32 New Zealanders to die in sinking that outraged the nation

Nurses killed on torpedoed ship among remembered
Four nurses and two medical corps members with links to South Canterbury were among those killed when a British transport ship was torpedoed by a German submarine in the north Aegean sea on October 23, 1915.

Articles of interest

Nursing Professional Development: Networking: The Key to Innovation –
I frequently hear how difficult it is for nursing professional development (NPD) specialists to keep informed of the best practice and innovation in our specialty. The desire to do more than stay current is apparent. Yet, the realities of facilitating orientation, coaching preceptors, and providing continuing education can be daily barriers to staying connected. NPD specialists clearly state the value of evidence-based practice and practice-based evidence, yet daily realities challenge NPD specialists, resulting in missing an affiliate meeting or not having time to connect with a colleague on a challenging issue. Yet, remember the last time a colleague asked you for advice or insights on a project? I would suggest it was energizing for both of you. We learn as we collaborate. We enhance our specialty practice as we share ideas. We improve the outcomes for our learners as we walk the path of evidence-based practice together. Collaborating and networking are energizing. - See more at:

Online resources

Updated webpages for Reducing Perioperative Harm programme
The Reducing Perioperative Harm webpages have been updated with a number of new resources, including a presentation from clinical lead Mr Ian Civil, a series of videos on the three stages of the surgical safety checklist and information about the proof of concept work currently underway. View the updated pages

New publications

New from Standards NZ

New publication

AS/NZS 4011.1:2014 - Single-use medical examination gloves - Part 1: Specification for gloves made from rubber latex or rubber solution

Specifies requirements for packaged sterile, or bulked non-sterile, rubber gloves intended for use in medical examinations and diagnostic or therapeutic procedures to protect the patient and the user from cross-contamination. It also covers rubber gloves intended for use in handling contaminated medical materials and gloves with smooth surfaces or with textured surfaces over all or part of the glove. Adopted with national modifications from ISO 11193-1:2008.

AS/NZS 4011.2:2014 - Single-use medical examination gloves - Part 2: Specification for gloves made from poly(vinyl chloride)

Specifies requirements for packaged sterile, or bulked non-sterile, poly(vinyl chloride) gloves intended for use in medical examinations, and diagnostic or therapeutic procedures, to protect the patient and the user from cross-contamination. It also covers poly(vinyl chloride) gloves intended for use in handling contaminated medical materials. Adopted with national modifications from ISO 11193-2:2006.

AS/NZS 4179:2014 - Single-use sterile rubber surgical gloves - Specification

Specifies requirements for packaged sterile rubber gloves intended for use in surgical procedures to protect the patient and the user from cross-contamination. It is applicable to single-use gloves that are worn once and then discarded. It does not apply to examination or procedure gloves. It covers gloves with smooth surfaces and gloves with textured surfaces over part or the whole glove. Adopted with national modifications from ISO 10282:2014.

The above information has been collated for the College of Nurses Aotearoa (NZ) Inc by Linda Stopforth, SNIPS and is provided on a weekly basis.  It is current as at Tuesday 5 Aug 2014

If you have any feedback about content - what parts are most useful or what you would like added - please email

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