'Clinical reality' vital at nursing council table.
|Subject:||Trade and professional associations (Officials and employees)|
|Publication:||Name: Kai Tiaki: Nursing New Zealand Publisher: New Zealand Nurses' Organisation Audience: Trade Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Health; Health care industry Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2009 New Zealand Nurses' Organisation ISSN: 1173-2032|
|Issue:||Date: Oct, 2009 Source Volume: 15 Source Issue: 9|
|Topic:||Event Code: 540 Executive changes & profiles|
|Product:||Product Code: 8620000 Professional Membership Assns NAICS Code: 81392 Professional Organizations SIC Code: 8621 Professional organizations|
|Persons:||Named Person: Byrne, Catherine; McKerras, Roxanne|
|Geographic:||Geographic Scope: New Zealand Geographic Code: 8NEWZ New Zealand|
Two nurses in clinical practice, Roxanne McKerras from Christchurch
Hospital and Catherine Byrne from Starship Children's Hospital, are
the newly elected members of Nursing Council.
McKerras was "blown away" to be elected and believes the fact she has been on the Council for one three-year term was a factor. That experience will stand her in good stead for her second term. "It took me about two years to understand the complexities of being a council member and of the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act and its implications. It is a huge responsibility and requires a great deal of time, if you take the position seriously," she said.
The Council had been through a challenging time and was now moving towards focusing on a purely governance and more strategic role, she said. McKerras said it was "absolutely vital" to have nurses steeped in clinical practice on the Council. "We bring clinical reality to the council table. Council decisions can have a huge impact at the clinical practice level."
McKerras is an after-hours clinical team coordinator at Christchurch Hospital and works alongside RNs, ENs, health care assistants and doctors in a collaborative role in which she facilitates clinical care.
She is somewhat dismayed at the "historical apathy" of nurses, reflected in the fact just 6195 of a possible 43,780 (14 percent) of nurses with annual practising certificates voted. She believes there may have been some confusion caused by the fact both Nursing Council and NZNO presidential elections were held at the same time, and found it frustrating that some nurses did not understand the different roles of the two bodies. She hopes more nurses will vote in the 2011 council elections, in which three of the six nurse representatives will be elected by nurses.
McKerras, a mother of four, has a master of nursing and is completing her second year of a Law degree at Canterbury University part-time.
A charge nurse at Starship Children's Hospital, Byrne says as a mother of two, she understands the reality of maintaining a nursing career and raising a young family. Trained in Taranaki, she has nursing experience in New Zealand and overseas.
In her statement to voters, she said that in her role as charge nurse she was well versed in the challenges nurses faced and the practice realities nurses were presented with everyday.
"I am committed to the provision of a sustainable New Zealand nursing workforce that is adaptable, and able to provide skilled nursing care in a variety of settings. I am optimistic, enthusiastic and decisive and I would relish the opportunity to represent the strategic direction of nursing as an elected Nursing Council member."
Council chief executive Carolyn Reed admitted to a little disappointment with the numbers voting but said it was a useful awareness-raising exercise and she was sure there would be a lot more interest next time.
|Gale Copyright:||Copyright 2009 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.|