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Thread: Calling all nurses

  1. #1
    MotherBear's Avatar
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    Default Calling all nurses

    NZ needs you.

    Acute nursing shortage hits hospitals
    Sunday November 12, 2006
    By Jane Phare

    More than half of New Zealand's newly registered nurses this year are from foreign countries, highlighting the country's worsening nursing shortage.

    It comes amid warnings that Zealand's busiest hospitals are close to breaking point because of a critical shortage of junior doctors, which could have a devastating impact on patient care.

    The largest numbers of overseas nurses come from Britain, South Africa and the Philippines, but Filipino nurses claim they are discriminated against because of their accent, and many will no longer be able to fill nursing jobs in New Zealand.

    Earlier this year, the Nursing Council increased the levels of English needed for staff to become registered nurses in New Zealand from an average of 6.5, based on the international IELTS test, to 7 in each of the four areas - listening, writing, reading and speaking.

    A level of between 6 and 6.5is needed to enrol in an academic degree course in New Zealand, but a level of 7.5 is needed for medical school.

    An Auckland Holiday Shoppe travel consultant said he had 80 qualified Filipino nurses waiting to come over, but they had failed the tough new spoken English test.

    Zenie Low, owner of the New Zealand-based Filipino Herald newspaper, said between 1000 and 2000 Filipino nurses used to come into New Zealand each year, but that number had dropped because of the new level of English test.

    But health authorities said the IELTS was a global English test which could be taken at language schools and universities, and did not discriminate against any one group. Marion Clark, chief executive of the Nursing Council, which imposed the new English standard, said the level had been raised after feedback from the profession and employers that some nurses could not understand English well enough or be understood.

    "It can be a matter of life and death," she said, acknowledging that some foreign nurses who would previously have been able to work in New Zealand could no longer register.

    Dr Jenny Carryer, executive director of the College of Nursing, said the deepening shortage of nurses was an international phenomenon and was likely to get worse.

    New Zealand's resident nursing population was ageing - many were now 50 - and the country's population was also ageing, causing nurses to be even more in demand.

    Meanwhile, figures released to the Herald on Sunday show that Auckland's three district health boards are short of 84 resident medical officers - the highest number of vacancies to date - with no quick solution in sight.

    Doctors fear that already long waiting lists will grow if the deficit is not cured, as senior doctors and nurses are forced to bear the brunt of patient care.]
    Mother Bear

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  2. #2
    alifox's Avatar
    alifox is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: Calling all nurses

    :)Personally, I think that it can only be a good thing for 'foreign' nurses to face strict English testing. As a nurse hoping to come over in 2007, I wouldn't expext anything less. In the UK, we have lots of international nurses, who came over a few years ago when staffing levels were terrible ( as is again now!) They are largely very well qualified and experienced, but the language difficulty can't be ignored. Their accent especially can be difficult to grasp, and vise- versa, and it is not uncommon to have to have to spell out patients names and diagnosis in order that they understand.
    ? ? No doubt us brit nurses have to adjust to the different accents when working in NZ, but when patient's lives are at stake, nobody can complain at having to justify their ability to understand the 'native lingo'. I'm supprised that these tests haven't been banned yet in England as being unfair to human rights, or some other codswallop that seems to be the norm in England at the minute. [smiley=013.gif] Sorry for thew political rant, but it's one of the reasons we want to leave >:(
    Job offer 21/06/07,EOI submitted 28/06/2007, EOI selected 04/07/2007, EOI successful 24/7/07, nurse registration arrived 24/7/07, medicals 24/7/07, ITA submitted and offer accepted on the house 24/08/07 Hubby failed medical, therefore had to let house offer go still fighting!

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    MotherBear's Avatar
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    Default Re: Calling all nurses

    Sorry for thew political rant, but it's one of the reasons we want to leave >:(
    Rant away all you like, Alifox. ?Most of us have had similar rants in one form or another around the forum in the past. ?Feels good to get it off your chest even if nothing ever comes of it. ? ? ::)
    Mother Bear

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  4. #4
    selchie's Avatar
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    Default Re: Calling all nurses

    There are so many instances where not knowing the language well enough, or having a thick accent can be an enormous problem. Thus, I am in favor of rigorous language requirements. However, I do hope there are enough qualified foreign nurses who can help translate for immigrant patients. Here in California, bilingual medical & police staff are at a premium.
    If men had wings and bore black feathers, few of them would be clever enough to be crows.
    - Rev. Henry Ward Beecher, mid-1800s

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