Low nurse morale flagged by membership group

November 1, 2021

NZNO’s membership committee is to ask NZNO leaders what is being done to highlight low morale and nursing stress due to short-staffing, rapid cycles of restructuring and loss of nursing leadership.

Andrea Reilly
Andrea Reilly

“Directors of nursing are no longer visible in most district health boards [DHBs], and there is no work support plan for suffering teams and wards, which flows onto students who meet preceptors too exhausted to provide structured and safe oversight,” new chair Andrea Reilly said. “It all speaks to a culture in health, which does not recognise the need for support and recognition; education release and strong orientation and staffing processes.”

However, the committee was looking forward to the new DHB-NZNO multi-employer-collective agreement (MECA) strengthening safe staffing and the tool care capacity demand management (CCDM), Reilly said. “This may further illuminate the major crisis in the New Zealand nursing workforce.”

Members also discussed the need to “socialise” the one member, one vote system throughout regional councils, colleges and sections. Passed in 2018, it allows every financial member to vote on proposed changes to NZNO policies or the constitution.

Previously, such votes were taken by delegates of NZNO groups, meaning individual members could have multiple votes.

A West Coast cancer nurse coordinator, Reilly has taken as membership committee chair over from Sandra Corbett, who was in the role for six years. Reilly acknowledged Corbett’s work building strong relationships with the kaiwhakahaere, Te Rununga and Te Poari.

The committee has vacancies in Southern, Hawke’s Bay, Midlands and Canterbury regions.