A website listing New Zealand nurses' names and offering the chance to 'review' them is being called "completely inappropriate" by the New Zealand Nurses Organisation.
The Nursing Council of Zealand is also investigating the 'New Zealand Nursing' website, which appears to have 'scraped' the Nursing Council's online public register of nurses to get its listings.
Memo Musa, the chief executive of the New Zealand Nurses Organisation (NZNO), said it was "completely inappropriate" and a misuse of the Nursing Council register to use that information to launch a website where people can comment on nurses.
"The Nursing Council register is there for the public to use and with good intent (to verify whether a nurse has a valid annual practicing certificate), not to provide a vehicle for making comments or entering into dialogue about a particular nurse."
Carolyn Reed, the chief executive and registrar of the Nursing Council, said the Council had been alerted to the page by nurses concerned about the website's 'rate your nurse' capability.
She said the information on the website was publicly available information and while it was not a public safety issue, the council was investigating the site as there were concerns that it might not accurately reflect a nurse.
"The nurses who have communicated with us are particularly concerned about the ability to comment on them," said Reed, "and think it opens them up to adverse comments about them that they have no right of reply or redress to." There were also factual inaccuracies on the site.
These concerns have been echoed by Musa. He said he has a current annual practicing certificate (APC) but the site lists him as not having a current 'license' then contradicts this by also stating that he has a 'license' until 31 March next year. The same mistake is repeated in a random series of names searched on the website by Nursing Review. It also mistakenly talks about the date that the nurse was first 'licensed' rather than registered.
The term 'licensed' nurse is used in the United States and Reed said that initial investigations of the site indicated links to Arizona but these links then 'bounced' to Europe.
Nursing Review emailed the contact email on the site on Thursday seeking information about the owner or provider of the site but by the close of Friday 8 July had not received a reply. No other contact information is available on the site. To date it appears that no 'review' comments have been posted.
Reed said her advice to the public and nurses was that the site was not the official Nursing Council website.
"The one definitive website to find out whether a nurse is registered in New Zealand, and is current to practice by having an APC, is our website" [www.nursingcouncil.org.nz].