NZNO education forum identifies issues of concern.
Subject: Nursing education (Methods)
Nursing education (Management)
Trade and professional associations (Services)
Pub Date: 05/01/2011
Publication: Name: Kai Tiaki: Nursing New Zealand Publisher: New Zealand Nurses' Organisation Audience: Trade Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Health; Health care industry Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2011 New Zealand Nurses' Organisation ISSN: 1173-2032
Issue: Date: May, 2011 Source Volume: 17 Source Issue: 4
Topic: Event Code: 200 Management dynamics; 360 Services information Computer Subject: Company business management
Product: Product Code: 8620000 Professional Membership Assns NAICS Code: 81392 Professional Organizations SIC Code: 8621 Professional organizations
Geographic: Geographic Scope: New Zealand Geographic Code: 8NEWZ New Zealand
Accession Number: 257674914
Full Text: Post-registration education for nurses was the focus for NZNO's second nursing education forum last month. Themes for the day included the importance of career planning; funding issues; level 700 vs level 800 education; the importance of collaborative relationships between education and service providers; workforce planning; and research.

NZNO professional services manager Susanne Trim said the day was marked by robust discussion and was fully subscribed, with attendees from all health sectors, except aged care. "It was an important meeting for distilling the issues and identifying questions of concern. NZNO will now look at the areas of consensus from the two forums, and feed that into its own vision for nursing and strategies as an organisation."

Ministry of Health chief nurse Jane O'Malley, Brenda Wraight from Health Workforce New Zealand (HWNZ) and Maureen Kelly from the Nursing Council gave the national perspective. Government priorities, O'Malley said, were the link between quality, safety and resources, a focus on older people's health, and moving services closer to home (better, sooner, more convenient). The Ministry was now more focused on removing barriers to practice, eg the new nurse prescribing in diabetes innovation (see p8).

HWNZ had started working closely with the Tertiary Education Commission to develop closer links between health need and education funding, Wraight said. Further HWNZ initiatives relevant to nursing included the voluntary bonding scheme; implementation of mandatory career planning for all HWNZ-funded students from 2012; targeted funding for aged care (300 training places); the 14 service reviews underway; and the three priority funding areas of aged care, mental health and rehabilitation.

The main themes arising from the discussion on nurse-entry-to-practice (NEt-P) issues included the lack of placements for new graduates; provisional registration; and at what level to pitch Net-P education--level 700 or level 800? The lack of funded placements for new graduates was identified as a major issue.


Primary health organisations, private surgical and aged care were now all taking on new graduates. Issues included wage differentials between secondary and primary care providers; the model of transition; the high expectations on new graduates - particularly in aged care; the irrelevance of some NEt-P study days; and the different funding available to nurses across district health boards (DHBs). O'Malley identified the need for a steering group, a national database, and better supply-and-demand data.

Chair of the national enrolled nurse (EN) section Robyn Hewlett advocated for EN access to the equivalent of NEt-P programmes and for some credit for ENs continuing onto a registered nursing programme. The group agreed that at present little was known about the education needs of ENs and further scoping of this would be needed once the new scope had bedded in. At present, EN education received no HWNZ funding, an issue that should be examined.

Canterbury DHB executive director of nursing Mary Gordon advocated for a look at the system as a whole, not at single silos. Blurring of the lines between secondary and primary could be beneficial, she said, eg general practice teams could visit patients in hospital and vice versa. She advocated strongly for level 700 short courses. "Such courses often give nurses entry to a specialty and ensure a place for currency of practice, not just extension of practice," she said.

Many believed there was more than one way to offer post-registration education, with qualifications only one part of continuing competence and expanded practice.

Head of Victoria University graduate nursing school Jo Walton noted that while collaboration between institutions was important, it was a cut-throat business. She challenged the group to consider removing the requirement for Nursing Council approval for all HWNZ-funded courses, identifying this as a significant barrier to nursing leadership, research and academic development.

The majority of the group called for barriers to (the limited) funding for post-registration education to be removed to ensure the profession's growth.

Groups recognised the importance of education and service providers working closely to identify workforce and education needs. While education and service providers might not always agree on priorities, opportunities, eg developing joint positions and working closely to meet education needs, were to be encouraged.

There was a clear call for more funding of nursing research, with planning around workforce development matching future need. A national discussion to identify research topics was needed.

A summary of the day's discussion will be on NZNO's website by the end of this month. Representatives from nine key nursing organisations will be considering the next steps to achieve an agreed vision for the future of nursing education. This will then be communicated to HWNZ.
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