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Sharing concerns with nursing council heads.

Changes to Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) funding and the effect of this on nursing schools was one of the main agenda items during a meeting between the board and Nursing Council chief executive Marion Clark and chair Bev Rayna. The commission has now capped funding at 2006 Levels. Schools have an opportunity to apply for further funding but Clark reported that some had already been unsuccessful in their applications. Some schools were struggling to meet council requirements, partly due to funding constraints. Schools needed more funding to support the education needs of students and meet council standards, Clark said. Board members reported that the current two-step process for United Kingdom (UK) nurses to gain registration in New Zealand was causing some confusion. Clark advised that UK nurses are placed on the register as soon as all their documentation is received. They then get a Letter requesting they apply for an annual practising certificate and provide evidence of their overseas practice hours. Clark said the Council would Look at consolidating the process into one step.

Board members also expressed concern that some immigrant nurses' conversation skills were not being assessed at a high enough Level. Although their formal Language competencies might be very good, many struggled with conversational English. This was seen as a downfall in the competence assessment requirements of registration. Clark requested members supply her with specific examples so she could check what process had been followed. She assured members that assessment of conversational English was required as part of registration requirements.

Some nurses perceived professional development standards as being very difficult to attain, board members said. This seemed a particular issue for primary health nurses who had Limited access to recognised development opportunities. Clark said she preferred to talk directly with such nurses until they felt more positive about how to attain the necessary standards. Nursing Council's aim was to keep nurses in practice, with no one being declined or removed from the register without working through the options.

These decision, compiled by Anne Manchester, were made at the October 2007 meeting of NZNO's board of directors.
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Author:Manchester, Anne
Publication:Kai Tiaki: Nursing New Zealand
Geographic Code:8NEWZ
Date:Dec 1, 2007
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