RNs - New South Wales

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Nurses' $1m fight to keep conditions

Jacqueline Maley, Sydney Morning Herald, February 15, 2007 Nurses in NSW are spending $1 million on a public advertising campaign denouncing the Howard Government's workplace laws in the lead-up to the state election. In what is expected to be another blow to the state Opposition, the campaign, funded by union members' dues, will link the federal issue of industrial relations laws to the shortage of nurses in NSW public hospitals. The NSW Nurses Association says the penalty rates and overtime that shift-working nurses rely upon will be eroded under the Federal Government's Work Choices regime. The state Labor Government has vowed to protect nurses from what they say will be the negative effects of the federal legislation, but the association does not trust that the state Liberal Opposition will do the same if elected next month. ... Nurses

NSW Nurses Launch $1.2 Million State Election Ad Campaign

New South Wales Nurses Association, February 15, 2007 As part of its Nurses Rights at Work: Worth Fighting and Voting For campaign, the NSW Nurses Association (NSWNA) today launched a $1.2 million advertising campaign on the impact of State and Federal industrial relations laws on the nurse shortage. The Nurses Rights at Work: Worth Fighting and Voting For campaign is being run in the lead up to the NSW State election on March 24 to highlight the negative impact laws such as John Howard's new industrial relations laws would have on recent, successful efforts to overcome the nurse shortage in NSW public hospitals. NSW public hospital nurses are currently protected from those laws by State legislation enacted by the Iemma Government. ... NSW

NSW Nurses Vote to Campaign on IR Laws During State Election Campaign

New South Wales Nurses Association, February 13, 2007 NSW Nurses Association (NSWNA) members in more than 100 public hospitals and health facilities across the State have voted to run a campaign, in the lead up to the March 24 State election, on the impact of State and federal industrial relations laws on the nurse shortage. A full list of NSWNA branches that have voted, to-date, to take part in the campaign is attached. The campaign, entitled Nurses Rights at Work: Worth Fighting and Voting For will include public events during March, in many NSW cities, towns and suburbs, aimed at highlighting the negative impact laws such as John Howard's new industrial relations laws would have on recent, successful efforts to overcome the nurse shortage in NSW public hospitals. ... NSW

Why Nurses Really Get The Blues

New South Wales Nurses Association, February 9, 2007 Low morale is harmful to nurses' health and puts patients at risk. A university study asks what really causes nurses to feel down. Nurses with low morale are more likely to have accidents and make mistakes, become ill and take sick leave, and express a desire to find employment in other organisations. These are among the findings of a study of factors affecting nurse morale conducted by an Australian team led by Dr Gary Day, a lecturer at Queensland University of Technology's School of Public Health. Results of the study were published in the November 2006 edition of the Australian Health Review. ... Why

Hunter figures prompt Govt to review mental health facility deaths

ABC Online, December 19, 2006 The New South Wales Government has requested a review of deaths in the state's mental health facilities, after it was revealed almost half the deaths in the last financial year were in the Hunter New England Health area. The Minister assisting on mental health, Cherie Burton, has asked for the review of acute in-patient deaths as a matter of urgency. Earlier this year, nurses at Newcastle's James Fletcher Hospital refused to admit some patients because of a lack of beds. ... Hunter

More HECS places 'means more nurses'

The Age, December 12, 2006 The NSW government says it will be forced to continue plugging gaps in the hospital system by recruiting overseas unless the commonwealth increases the number of HECS-funded university places for nurses. A NSW audit has revealed that while more nurses are being attracted and retained in NSW public hospitals, a major national shortage still looms. Auditor-General Peter Achterstraat has released his report on public hospitals and the ways in which NSW Health is responding to expected nurse shortages. ... More

More nurses at public hospitals

Simon Kirby, The Australian, December 12, 2006 More nurses are being recruited to and retained in NSW public hospitals but a major national shortage still looms, a state audit reveals. NSW Auditor-General Peter Achterstraat today released his report on public hospitals and the ways in which NSW Health was responding to expected nurse shortages. ... More

Call-centre nurses are ending sickie 'tradition'

Clair Weaver, Sydney Sunday Telegraph, November 12, 2006 The tradition of chucking a sickie is being crushed by a team of savvy nurses who field calls from employees looking to take a day off work. Short-term absence rates have been cut by up to 45 per cent at companies that have signed up to a Sydney-based health management service. The system requires staff to call a 24-hour nurse hotline when they want to take time off work, rather than reporting to a line manager. ... Call-centre

Aged Care Nurses Stung First By New IR Laws

New South Wales Nurses Association, November 7, 2006 Events unfolding in aged care have implications for all nurses in NSW. Our colleagues in aged care have been the first to be ex-posed to the realities of the new federal industrial relations system imposed on us this year. I strongly believe that what happens to nurses in this sector will have wider implications for nurses working in private and public hospitals. ... Aged

Nurse rego fee a 'slap in the face'

The Australian, October 18, 2006 The NSW Opposition has accused the State Government of giving nurses a "slap in the face" by increasing their registration and practising fees. Opposition health spokeswoman Jillian Skinner said the fee hikes would put people off the profession at a time when NSW was trying to recruit hundreds of new nurses. But a spokesman for NSW Health Minister John Hatzistergos said it was the first time the fees had been increased since 1993, and only the Northern Territory had lower fees. ... Nurse

Keeping nurses is the problem

Mudgee Guardian, October 16, 2006 Only 35,000 out of 98,000 registered nurses in NSW are choosing to work in public hospitals, according to Shadow Minister for Health, Jillian Skinner. Ms Skinner went public last week with SOS calls from Mid Western Area Health Service for extra nurses, with Dubbo needing up to 16 nurses. "SOS calls show how severely understaffed our hospitals are on a regular basis," she said. Ms Skinner said the NSW Health Website is currently advertising 1,426 nurse vacancies. ... Keeping

Nurses trained for duties: NSW minister

The Age, October 15, 2006 NSW Health Minister John Hatzistergos insists new nurse graduates are not forced to carry out duties for which they are not qualified. Fairfax newspaper reports claim nurse shortages in NSW are so severe that first year graduates have been put in charge of hospital wards. But Mr Hatzistergos said they would not be expected to perform any such tasks. "We don't ask nurses to carry out duties that they are not qualified (for) or where it is not appropriate," he told AAP. "Nurses who are registered have gone through years of training as well as training in the wards before they become registered and they are given those responsibilities." ... Nurses

First year on the job and nurses in charge of ward

Louise Hall, Sydney Morning Herald, October 15, 2006 Nursing shortages in public hospitals are so severe that first-year graduates are being put in charge of wards. Doctors say patients are being put at risk because of inexperienced nursing staff, who are often forced to take over wards when senior staff are not available. "That's a big responsibility for somebody who could be as young as their early 20s and with limited experience," Geoff Dodd from the Australian Medical Association said. ... First

Staff shortages see junior nurses in leadership roles

ABC Online, October 15, 2006 New South Wales health officials are defending the employment of young graduate nurses in crucial hospital roles, but admit there is a nursing shortage. The Australian Medical Association says patients are at risk because inexperienced staff are being put in charge of wards. NSW Health says there is a shortage of 1,300 nurses in the public health system, but graduates are fully qualified to take on leadership roles. Chief nursing officer Deborah Thoms says graduates are trained and capable. ... Staff

Nurses angry over nursing director plan for Orange, Bathurst

ABC Central West NSW, October 11, 2006 Nurses in Orange and Bathurst say they are ready to strike over a proposal to put one director of nursing in charge of both Orange and Bathurst base hospitals. There will be a meeting at the Bathurst Base Hospital today and tomorrow at Orange's Bloomfield Hospital, which may also be included under the same director. Orange Base Hospital nurses met yesterday and union organiser Linda Griffiths says they have given the Greater Western Area Health Service 10 days to change the proposal. ... Nurses

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