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New nursing era may prove detrimental.

Congratulations to Chris Cottingham for his article "Cottingham's Law: Report from the working party on nursing expertise" published in last month's Kai Tiaki Nursing New Zealand. It is refreshing to be able to smile while reading an article printed after the letters' section. So often there are more negative than positive comments about nursing to be found there, bravely submitted by our nursing colleagues.

Even though Chris intends his article to be "irreverent musings", to me they farcically illustrate the ever widening gap between nurses working with patients and those working in administration. The chasm has become so wide, it may soon be impossible to bridge.

I am proud to be a practice nurse and enjoy the scope this branch of nursing offers, but I fear for the future of "grass roots" nursing when so many experienced people are leaving the profession because of recent Nursing Council requirements, eg portfolios for professional development and restrictions on dual registration for midwives and nurses.

I also read in the same magazine that the Council has recently reduced the number of clinical hours required over the three-year nursing degree from 1500 to 1100 (see editorial, p2). If student nurses are to feel competent on entering clinical settings, both during their training and following graduation, surely having more experienced nurses as their mentors, easing them into their role as registered nurses, remains important.

I respect the fact that change is necessary in all professions but am concerned that perhaps the adage "out with the old and in with the new" may herald a new nursing era that will be detrimental to many. I would like to acknowledge the co-editors for providing a forum in which to express the above views.

Margaret Baillie, RN, Invercargill
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Title Annotation:LETTERS
Author:Baillie, Margaret
Publication:Kai Tiaki: Nursing New Zealand
Article Type:Letter to the editor
Date:Mar 1, 2006
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