New NZNO managers take up roles.
Subject: Managers (Appointments, resignations and dismissals)
Pub Date: 08/01/2011
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: August, 2011 Source Volume: 17 Source Issue: 7
Topic: Event Code: 540 Executive changes & profiles
Organization: Organization: New Zealand Nurses Organisation
Persons: Named Person: Alexander, Glenda; Graham-Smith, Hilary
Geographic: Geographic Scope: New Zealand Geographic Code: 8NEWZ New Zealand
Accession Number: 266344830
Full Text: A long-time NZNO staffer, Glenda Alexander, and someone new to the organisation, Hilary Graham-Smith, have taken up two newly created leadership positions within NZNO -the associate industrial services manager and the associate professional services manager respectively.

Speaking before taking up her role this month, Graham-Smith said she would like NZNO to be the first "go to" point for nurses seeking advice and information, whether about professional or industrial issues. "Nurses are not aware of the depth of expertise available to them inside the organisation. That is what we have to work on."

A primary health care leader and former director of nursing for the Pinnacle Group in the Midland region, Graham-Smith was working in a relieving capacity as a professional nursing adviser when the new role was advertised. "I have always been interested in the work of NZNO and saw this as an opportunity to be part of that."

Increasing visibility and creating an accurate understanding of NZNO and its functions are among her aspirations for the organisation's professional profile.

Her time in the Hamilton office, where she will continue to be based, has given her an insight into the complex work of organisers. Referring to bringing the professional and industrial arms of NZNO more closely together, Graham-Smith said she would like "to see us jointly presenting in education forums and the like. Perhaps it is about re-imagining what the 'team' could and should look like and how that impacts on the partnership and the work we all do."

She believes her ability to think strategically and her leadership skills and experience will be useful in her new role. What the health workforce will look like in the future and the preparation and utilisation of the nursing workforce are two significant issues facing the profession.

Strengthening the organising team

Alexander is looking forward to using her skills in a different way in her new role, notably developing and strengthening the team of organisers, co-ordinating organisers and educators.

She believes her very thorough knowledge of NZNO and how it works is an asset, along with her ability to educate and communicate.

She feels a mixture of relief and regret to be moving on from direct involvement in the public hospital/district health board (DHB) sector, which has been an integral part of her 21 years with the organisation. "I've invested so much of my energy in the sector over many years and some of that investment has had a direct influence on developments in the sector. But it is time for other people to step up and for me to do something different," she said.

Alexander sounds a trifle weary when asked about the perception that some in the health sector have that NZNO is just a union. "I'd like people to see NZNO for what it is--a dynamic, multi-faceted organisation. We are in the business of working with people who are health sector employees and health professionals at the same time. A lot of my work has been as much about building relationships in the sector and delivery of quality care as about improving conditions of employment. We used to refer to industrial and professional issues as being inextricably intertwined and they still are. The two teams just work in different ways to achieve the same goals."

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She suggests NZNO may be its own worst enemy, in terms of communicating its successes. "Some of our members don't recognise how influential the organisation has been and what it has achieved." She points to the fact the genesis of the Safe Staffing Healthy Workplaces Unit was in NZNO/DHB multi-employer collective agreement negotiations.

Taking on the new role was not an easy decision but Alexander is looking forward to having a different approach to her work--and to being able to focus on her new role once NZNO/DHB MECA negotiations are completed. (See p42.)

* Former NZNU/NZNO organiser and now a qualified lawyer, Lesley Harry, has taken over the role of DHB industrial adviser.
Gale Copyright: Copyright 2011 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.