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Safe staffing 'bombshell' does not deter NZNO.

THE MINISTER of Health Annette King's decision to pull the plug on NZNO's proposal for a safe staffing pilot project has not diminished di·min·ish  
v. di·min·ished, di·min·ish·ing, di·min·ish·es
a. To make smaller or less or to cause to appear so.

 NZNO's commitment to manageable workloads and strong clinical support for nurses on every shift, according to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.

2. In keeping with: according to instructions.

 NZNO NZNO New Zealand Nurses Organisation  president lane O'Malley.

Last month the Minister, who originally suggested the safe staffing pilot project late last year, withdrew her support in favour of a magnet hospital magnet hospital Hospital care A hospital that features flat organization structure, unit-based decision making, investment in education; MH nurses have less burnout, Pts have better care, ↓ time in hospital and in ICU  pilot project at Hutt Valley District Health Board (DHB DHB District Health Board (New Zealand)
DHB Deutscher Handball Bund (German)
DHB Deutschen Hausfrauen-Bundes (Darmstadt)
DHB DHB Capital Group, Inc.
). The Minister's decision was a "bombshell bomb·shell  
1. An explosive bomb.

2. One that is sensationally shocking, surprising, or amazing.


a shocking or unwelcome surprise

Noun 1.
", O'Malley said, but did not mean NZNO would now abandon its commitment to safe staffing. "The pilot project is off but the principles that drove it--manageable workloads and strong clinical support are still very much part of NZNO's agenda."

In late 2001, two NZNO staff members, professional nursing adviser Margaret Cain and organiser Anthony Rimmell, visited Melbourne and heard the details of the Victorian branch of the Australian Australian

pertaining to or originating in Australia.

Australian bat lyssavirus disease
see Australian bat lyssavirus disease.

Australian cattle dog
a medium-sized, compact working dog used for control of cattle.
 Nursing Federation's (ANF ANF antinuclear factor; see antinuclear antibodies (ANA), under antibody.

antinuclear factor


atrial natriuretic factor.
) successful nurse/ patient ratios campaign. Regional conventions in 2002 supported NZNO adopting a safe stalling stall 1  
1. A compartment for one domestic animal in a barn or shed.

a. A booth, cubicle, or stand used by a vendor, as at a market.

 campaign and last year's NZNO conference heard the architect of the Victorian campaign, Belinda Morieson, outline the keys to its success and the results of the campaign. The Minister met Morieson at the conference and was very interested in the results of the campaign. Late last year the Minister announced the pilot project. NZNO committed time and resources to developing a proposal and O'Malley said at meetings this year, the Minister was always supportive, as was the Ministry of Health's chief nursing adviser Frances Hughes. At one meeting NZNO raised the fact there seemed to be some difficulty getting the pilot project on the Ministry's 2003/04 workplan with the Minister, who promised she would raise the matter with the Ministry. At the very next meeting with NZNO representatives, King told NZNO she was withdrawing her support because NZNO's proposal would cost $900,000 and its outcomes were unknown, whereas the magnet hospital pilot had clear outcomes, would take two years to achieve and would cost only $250,000.

NZNO refutes that the outcomes were unclear. "The outcomes of the Victorian nurse/patient ratios campaign were very clear: the ANF estimates 4000 nurses returned to the workforce; the Royal Melbourne Royal Melbourne, a high class neighborhood in Chicago's North Shore, is both a residential community and Greg Norman designed golf course. The neighborhood houses some of Chicago's elite professionals, including world-renowned lawyers, doctors, and athletes.  Institute of Technology had its largest intake of nursing students; nurses reported they felt safe at work and were able to spend time with patients; they could be involved in quality assurance issues and attend in-service in-service In-service training adjective Referring to any form of on-the-job training noun In-service training of an employee  education," O'Malley said.

She also disputed the fact the magnet hospital pilot would cost only $250,000. "Clearly it will cost more money to bring hospitals here up to magnet standards."

She said the Minister seemed to believe the safe staffing pilot project and the magnet hospital pilot project were in conflict with each other. "That is not the case. I have no idea where the idea of a conflict arose. It appears the Minister was hearing different messages from different people."

NZNO had worked "openly and honestly" with all nursing groups, including the national nursing organisations, the magnet advisory group, as well as the Ministry of Health and the Minister on the safe staffing proposal and believed its proposal and the magnet hospital pilot project were in accord rather than conflict.

"The priorities for our members are manageable workloads so they can practise prac·tise  
v. & n. Chiefly British
Variant of practice.

practis·er n.
 safely, and good clinical support on every shift, delivered through associate charge nurses. These are the problems that have to be tackled first, before the characteristics that comprise magnet hospitals can be achieved. Achieving magnet hospital status has been described as a journey but there are some crucial first steps that have to be taken, ie safe workloads and clinical support," O'Malley said.

The magnet hospital pilot at Hutt Valley DHB was for two years and NZNO hopes to become more involved in it, she said, but in the meantime Adv. 1. in the meantime - during the intervening time; "meanwhile I will not think about the problem"; "meantime he was attentive to his other interests"; "in the meantime the police were notified"
meantime, meanwhile
, staffing shortages were occurring all over the country and needed to be addressed now.

NZNO would continue to push for safe workloads and using nurses' industrial strength was one option. "We will look at having nurse/patient ratios included in future employment agreements. But nurses don't want a trade off between our campaign for fair pay and manageable work loads. Both are crucial to recruitment and retention."

O'Malley says NZNO's members on the magnet advisory group (herself and Margaret Cain) will continue to work to have the group understand that what NZNO wants is in the best interests of the profession as a whole. "We want the same things--safe workloads and safe clinical practice. Directors of nursing around the country should be telling their chief executives and boards that NZNO's campaign for better pay for nurses and our commitment to manageable workloads deserve support, because ultimately they will deliver better patient outcomes."
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Title Annotation:news and events
Publication:Kai Tiaki: Nursing New Zealand
Date:Sep 1, 2003
Previous Article:NZNO fair pay campaign takes off.
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