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NSW nursing workforce grows

An extra 2000 graduate and experienced nurses and midwives have begun work in NSW public hospitals following one of the biggest recruitment drives in the state’s history, said the Minister for Health, Jillian Skinner. She said the number of nurses and midwives in the NSW system had risen from 43,430 in March 2011 to 45,499 in February 2012. The intake of 2000 nurses and midwives includes about 1100 graduates. Another 900 graduates have accepted offers to work in the NSW health system and are expected to start work in the next few months. “These additional nurses are using their knowledge and skills in a wide variety of roles from medical to surgical, emergency roles as well as maternity and mental health care services,” said Skinner. Prior to the election, the Liberals committed to employing an additional 2475 nurses and midwives over four years. NSW Health currently employs 45,000 nurses across the state’s public hospitals, mental health agencies, community and public aged care services. 12,000 midwives are working in the public health system and 180 nurses are also working in nurse practitioner roles.

Australians dominate hall of fame

Three Australian nurse researchers will be inducted into Honor Society of Nursing, Sigma Theta Tau International’s (STTI) International Nurse Researcher Hall of Fame this year. They will be honoured with 10 other researchers from around the globe for being committed to advancing the knowledge base of nursing. The prestigious award recognises researchers who have achieved significant and sustained national and international recognition. The Australians are: Professor Patricia Davidson, director of the Centre for Cardiovascular and Chronic Care at the University of Technology Sydney; Professor Helen Edwards at the school of nursing, Queensland University of Technology; and Linda Shields, professor of pediatric and child health nursing, Curtin University. The award presentation will take place in August in Brisbane at STTI’s 23rd International Nursing Research Congress. 

Patient diversity celebrated

Nursing students from Nagasaki, Japan have visited their peers in Melbourne to gain experience of the Australian health system. In a collaboration between Monash University’s school of nursing and midwifery and the Kwassui Women’s University, the students completed a two-week course to introduce them to the cultural diversity experienced by nurses in Australia. Lecturer in nursing and midwifery Dr Kaori Shimoinaba said the Japanese government recently required a unit focusing on international nursing be included in the curriculum at Kwassui. “It is not easy to teach international nursing in a mono-cultural country such as Japan so the university approached Monash to help develop and deliver a program,” he said. With Australia having such a diverse multicultural society and core components of the university’s nursing curriculum focused on cultural aspects of health care it will give the Japanese valuable experience. “The clinical visits allow the students to observe how different healthcare systems work and how Australian nurses communicate with patients from different backgrounds,” Shimoinaba said. Planning is already underway for the 2013 program with an additional course for midwifery students being developed.

Pregnancy body image researched

How women feel about their bodies during pregnancy is the subject of new research at RMIT University. Adapting to the rapid physical changes of pregnancy can be an enjoyable experience for some, and dissatisfying for others. Provisional psychologist Belynda Evans is a Master of Psychology student in the school of health sciences. She hopes that the research results might be useful in guiding early intervention during pregnancy to reduce the psychological distress sometimes associated with the rapid body changes. “I am seeking women 18 and over who are pregnant [ideally within the first 20 weeks] or who are actively attempting to conceive, to participate in the study,” Evans said.  It is predicted the outcomes may provide evidence as to what influences body image and body dissatisfaction during pregnancy, and how these variables change across pregnancy.” To participate in the study, email [email protected]

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