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ENs included in new health-care initiative: corrections is once again employing enrolled nurses after a lapse of 10 years.

The Department of Corrections is recruiting enrolled nurses (ENs) again for the first time in a decade, in a new health-care initiative being rolled out around the country.

So far four ENs have been employed at Mt Eden Corrections Facility (MECF), and three more are being sought, director of offender health Bronwyn Donaldson told Kai Tiaki Nursing New Zealand.

While the initiative was still in its early stages, Donaldson suggested there would eventually be many more EN positions among the 19 prisons operating throughout the country.

"At present the ENs are only at MECF but there is potential to widen this as we consider contemporary models of care for our patients."

Ten years ago, ENs became harder to recruit as they were not being trained, Donaldson said. Corrections turned to health-care assistants (HCAs) instead to complement registered nurses (RNs).

Last year, Corrections became aware that tertiary institutes were again training ENs--and their scope had been broadened to include a range of new skills and practice settings. After reviewing prisoner needs, Corrections decided ENs would be a "great fit".

"ENs, as registered health practitioners, can work to a different scope and we want to make the most of the workforce we employ and develop," Donaldson said.

With prisoners' health needs tending to be complex, with high medication levels and injuries ranging from the mundane to significant, she preferred to have a registered workforce giving medication rather than HCAs. Under SERCO--the United Kingdom-based company which was sacked in 2015 from running MECF after publicity around inmate fight clubs --HCAs had been administering medications. Donaldson said they decided to introduce a new model of care, designed around the EN, instead.

"Our preference is for a regulated workforce for the clinical work, as that can have implications for patients. Employing another workforce to do the bloods and measurements, in a new model of care, is proving to be an answer."

Corrections still mainly employed RNs and some HCAs, but Donaldson said she was "delighted" to see ENs return to Corrections.

While more expensive than HCAs, ENs appealed as a regulated, responsible and accountable workforce, who complemented RNs. "We believe ENs are a good investment for us," said Donaldson.

By co-editor Mary Longmore

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Title Annotation:practice
Author:Longmore, Mary
Publication:Kai Tiaki: Nursing New Zealand
Geographic Code:8NEWZ
Date:May 1, 2017
Words:368
Previous Article:Valuing the EN workforce.
Next Article:Making a difference to prisoners' lives: enrolled nurse Melanie Salt talks about her new job at Mt Eden Corrections Facility.
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