1 March 2014

NEWS BRIEFS including:Mid-year graduating nurses still job-hunting at year’s end/ interRAI funding/ Greens up ‘nurses in schools’ policy/ Registration medal shortage/Nursing Appointments

Mid-year graduating nurses still job-hunting at year’s end

Nearly half of the about 500 new nurses graduating in July were still job-hunting in November, Ministry of Health statistics show. Only 212 (41 per cent) of the 515 mid-year applicants for new graduate nursing programme places were successful in July. It appears not many more were successful in the following months as the Ministry of Health reports that 247 (47 per cent) of the July applicants applied again for jobs in the December round.

interRAI funding

An additional $1.5 million is available to help train more registered nurses before interRAI is mandatory from July next year.Associate health minister Jo Goodhew said in February that all aged residential care (ARC) providers had signed up to training for the new national clinical assessment tool six months before deadline. She said about 720 registered nurses had been trained to use the tool and had completed over 10,000 assessments. The focus was now on training more nurses before the tool becomes mandatory for all primary assessments July 1 2015.

“To ensure this goal is reached, this Government has made an additional $1.5 million available to support each facility to backfill their registered nurses during training,” said Goodhew.

Greens up ‘nurses in schools’ policy

$40 million of the Green’s proposed $100 million School Hub policy is earmarked for nursing services in primary schools. The Green Party first proposed in June last year the employment of 280 new nurses to work in decile 1–3 primary and intermediate school (at the rate of one nurse for every 400 students) as part of their ‘nurses in schools’ policy. The School Hub policy announced by co-leader Metiria Turei in late January has widened the policy proposal to include decile 4 schools, so 350 new school nurses would be required in schools (approximately one full-time nurse per typically large urban primary or intermediate school) at an estimated cost of $40 million.

Registration medal shortage

High demand from new nursing graduates has seen a delay in delivery of registration medals, the Nursing Council said in February. More than 1,310 graduates successfully sat state finals in November last year. The Nursing Council said the medal contractor was experiencing delays in completing the medals due to the high numbers requested. It said the completed medals would be sent out to new graduates as soon as possible.

Nursing Appointments

Former NZNO industrial advisor Glenda Alexander is standing as Labour candidate for the South Island electorate of Waitaki. Alexander was lead advocate for the historic ‘fair pay’ national collective agreement negotiated between the New Zealand Nurses Organisation and District Health Boards in 2004. She is taking three months leave from her current position at NZNO to campaign for the seat that straddles South Canterbury and North Otago.

Dr Anita Bamford-Wade has left Auckland University of Technology’s nursing school to take up a new post as inaugural professor of nursing and midwifery at the new Gold Coast University Hospital. Bamford-Wade was director of nursing at Capital and Coast District Health board for seven years before leaving in 2005 to become a senior lecturer and then joint head for some years of AUT. She describes her new position at the 750 bed public hospital as a “very exciting opportunity”. It is a joint appointment with Griffith University.

Karyn Sangster has stepped into a new primary health care nurse executive role at Counties Manukau DHB. Sangster is now chief nurse advisor primary and integrated care, working in partnership with the DHB’s director of nursing Denise Kivell and clinical nurse director of aged care Kathy Peri. Sangster, who trained at Middlemore, was first a district nurse leader for Counties Manukau and then primary health before her latest role, which has her reporting directly to the chief executive and sitting on the executive leadership team.

Vanessa Pullan has been appointed to the new role of clinical advisor for Alzheimer’s New Zealand. The former Hutt Valley DHB team leader for older person’s mental health services will be responsible for advising the organisation and its 21 members on best practice dementia care.