News bulletin 10 June

on 10 June


Welcome to the College of Nurses – News Update.
No. 255 10 June 2015


From NZ media this week

A Taranaki "Maori nurse leader" in the making
When Roxanne McDonald dropped out of school at 15 she had few prospects and little ambition.
But 14 years later she has finally found her calling and is now being described as a future nursing leader with four scholarships to help her with her nursing studies.

Nurses seek mediation over new contracts
New Zealand's nurses are seeking help from a mediator for national contract negotiations but talk of a strike is "premature", their union says.

Whitireia hosts Canadian nursing students and tutors
The Whitireia Faculty of Health has been hosting nine students and two tutors from the nursing programme at Camosun College in British Columbia, Canada.

From International media this week

German nursing sector hesitant to recruit abroad
Almost all parts of Germany have a shortage of qualified nursing staff. But healthcare providers are reluctant to recruit skilled workers from abroad, according to a recent study by the Bertelsmann Foundation.

Royal College of Nursing appoints new leader
The Royal College of Nursing has appointed Janet Davies, its current director of nursing and service delivery, to be its next chief executive and general secretary.

Nurses Can't Afford to Ignore Healthcare Costs
Concern for the hospital's bottom line has traditionally been outside the realm of RNs, but understanding healthcare costs gives them an advantage in improving patient care and insight into leadership challenges.

On Needing More Nurses
On May 28, Alexandra R0bbins wrote an Oped for the New York Times entitled “We Need More Nurses.”  Robbins has written a book exploring and promoting the work that nurses do entitled The Nurses: A Year of Secrets, Drama, and Miracles With the Heroes of the Hospital.  Her welcome plea for better/safer nurse staffing comes after a long line of researchers, journalists, and, of course, tens of thousands of nurses have begged local, regional, and national politicians to enact safe staffing laws.  - See more at:

The nursing shortage and the doctor shortage are two very different things
Nursing is bracing for what’s being called a “silver tsunami” — a graying Baby Boomer workforce entering retirement. On top of that, many other nurses are leaving the field out of frustration. Why? They don’t feel they’re making enough of a difference for their patients.

UK falls short of 24,000 nurses due to cuts and immigration rules
Britain’s healthcare industry is suffering a nursing shortage of 24,000 staff this year, driven by a decline in student places, tougher immigration rules and spending cuts.
Despite a strong rise in EU immigration, 7,000 fewer nurses came to the UK in 2014-15 compared with 2003-04, according to Christie & Co, a consultancy. Spanish nurses were the most likely to come here in 2015, followed by nurses from Portugal and Italy.

Nurses set to fill in for on-call doctors in Ayrshire, with trial starting at Ayr Hospital
MEDICAL insiders have shared concerns over plans to move the Ayrshire Doctors on Call service to a "nurse-led" programme, with nurses asked to fill in for GPs.

World's health problems on the increase - report
We live in a sick world. Just 4 per cent of people had no health problems in 2013, according to a global medical check-up published today in a leading journal.

Tasmania's graduate nurses struggling to find work, Nursing and Midwifery Federation survey finds
Tasmania's Nursing and Midwifery Federation (ANMF) is deeply concerned about a new report showing 60 per cent of the state's nursing graduates cannot get jobs.

DHBs and PHOs

Southern District Health Board could be replaced by commissioner
Health Minister Jonathan Coleman is considering replacing the financially-struggling Southern District Health Board with a commissioner.
A May 28 letter by Coleman to health board chairman Joe Butterfield says Coleman has become increasingly concerned with the health board's deteriorating financial performance.

Southern DHB’s deficit – is it time to clear the slate?
The New Zealand Nurses Organisation (NZNO) cautiously welcomes the announcement that a commissioner may be appointed to run Southern District Health Board.

Government to track numbers of surgical patients being turned away from hospitals
The Government has made moves to track patients who are missing out on surgery, after years of controversy over the level of "unmet need" in the public health system.

Good progress measuring specialist referrals
Health Minister Jonathan Coleman says good progress is being made towards accurately measuring patient flow from GPs to hospital based specialists and the outcome of those referrals.

NZs health system $1 billion worse off than six years ago; $220 per kiwi
The Council of Trade Unions has completed a detailed analysis of the 2015 Health Budget and estimates that our public health system will be $1 billion worse off than it was six years ago.

Taranaki loses trio of community health providers
The removal of mental health funding from Taranaki gives the impression people in the provinces don't matter, a leading health advocate says.

Ethical issues

Euthanasia debate back on the political agenda
The right-to-die debate is poised to be thrust back on the political agenda as support mounts for a parliamentary inquiry.
More than a decade after Parliament was divided by a vote on voluntary euthanasia, there is cross-party support that the public deserves a fresh debate through a select committee inquiry.

Lecretia Seales did not have right to die, High Court rules 
Lecretia Seales learned on her death bed that she had been denied her dying wish. 
Her grieving husband, Matt Vickers, has revealed her deep hurt and disappointment when he told her on Tuesday evening that Justice David Collins had decided it was against the law for her to be allowed a doctor's help to die at a time of her own choosing.

Govt will back euthanasia inquiry but won't create new laws, says John Key 
The Government will not put euthanasia on its work programme but will support an inquiry into the issue, the Prime Minister says.

PM says no to debate on broadening access medicinal marijuana
Prime Minister John Key says he would not support a parliamentary debate on broadening access to medicinal marijuana because there are alternatives available.

Medicinal cannabis application approved for teenager in coma
A teenager in an induced coma in Wellington Hospital is the first to have received a cannabidiol product signed off by a Government minister.

Mental health

Social impact bonds a “solution” looking for a problem
The New Zealand Nurses Organisation (NZNO) Mental Health Nurses Section fears the Government’s new social impact bonds is a way to privatise mental health services and abandon its responsibility to fund public health and social services for our most vulnerable New Zealanders.

New wellbeing programme for farmers launched
Farmstrong, a new initiative to promote wellbeing for all farmers and growers across New Zealand is being launched today.

Public health

Thousands of Kiwi kids suffer preventable injuries - report
A whopping 8000 New Zealand children are admitted to hospital with preventable injuries every year, a new report shows.

Social health

Call for action after toddler's death
The death of an Auckland toddler in a cold, damp Housing New Zealand house has led to renewed calls for the introduction of a Warrant of Fitness for all homes.

Northland Health Officials Support Coroner’s Report
Northland Health officials have come out in support of Coroner Brant Shortland’s report which notes that the cold, damp house a two-year-old was living in contributed to her death.

New $5 million study to boost children's health by improving housing
A $5 million study by a team of Wellington researchers aims to boost children's health by improving New Zealand's housing.

Articles of interest

Medical marijuana
Medical marijuana is now available in several states. People seek it to treat pain, nausea and some disease symptoms that don't respond to other treatments.

Online resources

Apprentices, trainees and nursing students (PDF 4.7 MB)
On a busy ward, surgery or community-based workplace you might see several young new starters working in a health care support worker role. As well as nursing students, who go to university to do a nursing degree and also undertake a work placement, you may work with trainees, apprentices and cadets and feel a little confused about their roles and responsibilities, and what support they need. This publication has been designed to give RCN learning representatives an overview of the new young learner roles and give guidance on what good practice looks like in relation to supporting young learners. It also highlights how you and your fellow union representatives can work in partnership with employers to ensure that every young person who joins your organisation has a great start to their nursing career.

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 9 June 2015

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

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