Students celebrate strong growth in membership.
THE NATIONAL student unit (NSU) is celebrating more than 25 percent membership growth over the past year to nearly 3000, outgoing leaders Jeremy Haggland and Phoebe Webster told college and section nurses.
Haggland, who is outgoing chair of Te Runanga Tauira (TRT), which represents Maori nursing students on the NSU, also outlined several proposed changes to NZNO's student structures which NSU and TRT representatives thought would better reflect a bicultural partnership.
They wanted the NSU's name to have a Maori translation--Te Huinga Tauira Toputanga Tapuhi Kaitiaki 0 Aotearoa (the coming together of students at NZNO). Also under the proposal, the TRT and NSU chairs would hold equal decision-making power, rather than the NSU chair having a deciding vote, as occurred now.
Haggland said membership had increased from 2219 to 2964 this year, as representatives worked hard to recruit and retain students. Its committee, too, had grown to 26--the largest it had been as long as he could remember. That included 13 TRT and 13 NSU representatives. "It's been an amazing year," Haggland said later. "We're in a really good place."
Outgoing NSU chair Webster said working groups of students and school leaders had been set up to resolve issues including bullying, financial and family pressures, dealing with shift work and witnessing major trauma or death for the first time. A survey of nursing student well-being and student support at the country's 17 nursing schools received 920 responses which were "overall" positive about access to support services and dwindling levels of students smoking on campus.
NSU also linked into the NZNO Shout Out for Health campaign, and worked on campuses to raise awareness of the campaign for a fully funded public health system.
New TRT chair Katie Le Lievre said she planned to continue NSU's focus on student well-being, with care plans "so they're not burnt out when starting work on the wards".
TRT would also be looking into reports that cultural services were being dismantled at some campuses.
Caption: Newly elected NZNO student leaders, from left: National student unit chair Nadine Everson (Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology) and vice-chair Shontelle Samuel (Manukau Institute of Technology); Te Runanga Tauira chair Katie Le Lievre (Auckland University of Technology) and vice-chair Rebekah Horn (Southern Institute of Technology). Le Lievre and Horn were elected at the recent hui a-tau; Everson and Samuel at the NSU annual general meeting last month.