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Nurse educators meet in Dunedin.

"Developing and nurturing practice" was the theme of the 12th Australasian Nurse Educators' Conference at the University of Otago in Dunedin late August/early September. The three-day event, attended by around 150 people, featured three keynote speakers: nursing school head at Southern Cross University in New South Wales, Denise Dignam; research coordinator at Victoria University of Wellington's Graduate School of Nursing and Midwifery, Cheryle Moss; and Canberra Hospital executive director of nursing services Joy Vickerstaff. The 83-page conference programme and abstract book was a strong indication of the depth of the presentations, concurrent sessions and posters on offer.

I attended only one day, the highlight of which was a presentation by two Australian nurse educators, Amanda Culver and Nancy Passlow. They told us about a Tertiary and Further Education programme for enrolled nurses (ENs) in New South Wales, that resulted in an increase in the effectiveness of patient care. What I liked most about their presentation was their obvious and evidence-based belief in the ability of ENs to benefit from ongoing education. This belief would seem to be in stark contrast to the attitude of many New Zealand nurse educators. What Australian ENs have that New Zealand ENs don't, is greater overall numbers. This must help in their survival. What they also have, and which seems to be lacking here, is the support of a clinical, regulatory and education environment that enables ENs to provide effective patient care. This session made me feel ashamed at the way enrolled nursing knowledge, experience and ethical commitment is being wasted in New Zealand. Over 50 other papers were presented; diverse, challenging, entertaining and practice-focused. There were also 13 posters. One of these highlighted the Nurse Educators' Roundtable, a network that meets twice a year.

Overall, this conference showed that the New Zealand nursing education sector, despite the difficulties it faces, is lively and resilient. It is a sector in which NZNO could and should play a greater part.

Report by NZNO professional services manager Joy Bickley Asher
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Title Annotation:NEWS AND EVENTS
Author:Asher, Joy Bickley
Publication:Kai Tiaki: Nursing New Zealand
Date:Sep 1, 2005
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