Research & Policy

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    Nurses make mark on rheumatic fever rates

    9 March 2017

    World first research showing sore throat clinics in South Auckland schools helped dramatically drop rheumatic fever rates justifies the hard work put in by nurses and whānau workers, says nurse leader and co-researcher Lizzie Farrell.

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    NZNO shares members' diverse views on assisted dying

    21 September 2016

    Nurses acknowledge that assisted dying is likely to become legal in New Zealand but hold a diverse range of perspectives on the issue, NZNO Kaiwhakahaere Kerri Nuku told Parliament's Health Committee today.

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    Kiwi nurse leader home from Geneva

    7 September 2016

    Advocating for hospital nurses to be safe from falling bombs is one of New Zealander Dr Frances Hughes's recent duties as Geneva-based leader of the International Council of Nurses.

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    Smokefree Nurses back e-cigarettes

    16 August 2016

    E-cigarettes containing nicotine should be freely for sale and organisations allowed to decide where people can 'vape' to help people quit tobacco, says Smokefree Nurses Aotearoa.

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    Nurse prescribing and the Queen

    27 January 2016

    As registered nurse prescribing inches closer, MARK JONES and JILL WILKINSON argue that prescribing innovations could be better and faster in the future if the Queen wasn't involved. They are calling for the proposed new Medicines Act to see a handover in power for deciding nursing's prescriptive authority from the Queen (i.e. the Crown) to the Nursing Council.

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    Nursing tales go live with launch of new website

    11 March 2015

    Tales of the days of nursing hostel curfews, starched caps and when 'doctors were God' can be heard online with the launch of New Zealand's first nursing oral history archive.

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    New health minister line-up in cabinet reshuffle

    6 October 2014

    The new cabinet line-up brings in GP Jonathan Coleman as the new health minister, supported by two associate health ministers – one of them new and in cabinet.

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    Nursing Survey: what DO you do everyday?

    2 October 2014

    Nurses nationwide are invited to take part in a major online survey hoping to pinpoint the real differences between a staff nurse and a specialist nurse’s daily work.

April 2017 VOL. 15 (2)

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    Patients and PJs: an unhealthy relationship?

    Getting hospital patients out of their pyjamas and into clothes has became a worldwide social media-led movement. FIONA CASSIE finds out about #endPJparalysis and the Christchurch nurse leader behind it.

October 2016 Vol. 16 (5)

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    Cultural safety: becoming a reflexive practitioner

    Stereotypes, often perpetuated by media headlines and unconscious prejudices, can all affect how nurses relate to patients. In KATRINA FYERS and SALLIE GREENWOOD’s third and final article they look at how nurses can think in reflexive ways to be more culturally safe practitioners.

June 2016 Vol. 16 (3)

  • Bariatric

    The big and small of caring for the very large

    Chubby, obese, fat, bariatric, heavy. Finding the right words is just one of nurse researcher Caz Hales’ projects for improving the care of very large patients. FIONA CASSIE finds out more.

  • Lonely

    Loneliness and being alone

    Loneliness can be a precursor to depression in older people. NICKY DAVIES for her PhD thesis asked older people what they think loneliness actually is. FIONA CASSIE reports on the findings and the take-home messages for nurses working with older people who may be lonely… or just alone.

April 2016 Vol 16 (2)

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    Nurse researchers: creating a force for change

    This year’s theme for International Nurses Day is ‘Nurses: A force for change’. Florence Nightingale was just such a force, using statistics and data to challenge practice and develop health policy. We talk to some nurse researchers about the motivation and goals of nurse research, background some researchers’ career paths and share some tips and advice for those who may wish to follow.

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    Safe relationships: an app for young people

    PROFESSOR JANE KOZIOL-McLAIN, a longstanding researcher into family violence, is leading a research team currently working with young people to develop a ‘healthy relationships’ smartphone app to be piloted in schools next year.

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    Mindful management trial for older people with LTCs

    As our population ages, more and more people are living into old age with multiple long-term conditions. A University of Otago nurse-led randomised controlled trial is looking at whether training in both healthy living and mindfulness can make a difference to these people’s lives.

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    Nurse-led drug trial for 'orphan disease'

    Venous leg ulcers (VLU) are an ‘orphan disease’ in which nurse researcher Dr Andrew Jull has a longstanding interest. He talks to Nursing Review about his team’s latest VLU research project – Asprin4VLU – his first, and one of New Zealand’s first ever nurse-led, randomised, controlled trials of a drug treatment.

February 2016 Vol 16 (1)

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    Nurses step up to meet demand for specialist eye treatment

    New Zealand’s ageing population is experiencing an upsurge in common age-related eye diseases. Clinical nurse specialist VICKY MIYEONG YOU reports on an innovation at Greenlane Eye Centre that has seen nurses trained to deliver collaborative specialist treatment for one of these diseases – wet macular degeneration.

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    HWNZ: Nurses still play pivotal role in healthcare

    Nursing Review asked Health Workforce New Zealand for an opinion piece on HWNZ’s recent and future plans and on nursing’s role in that work and vision. Chair DES GORMAN and acting director RUTH ANDERSON responded.

  • Jenny Carryer

    Draft Health Strategy: good intent but short on action

    PROFESSOR JENNY CARRYER calls for courageous disruption to ensure the new Health Strategy leads to changes in the health system with a positive impact on population health.

December 2015 Vol 15 (6)

  • Big data

    Big data: helping to make nursing more visible

    A nursing mantra for much of the past two decades has been evidence-based practice. US nursing researcher Dr Karen Monsen believes it’s time to rethink that mantra and instead start mining ‘big data’ for practice-based evidence of expert nursing. Fiona Cassie reports.

October 2015 Vol 15 (5)

  • Nevil Pierse

    Housing research: cold rooms have high health costs

    Housing researcher NEVIL PIERSE talks to Nursing Review about getting the hard statistics and evidence to back healthy housing initiatives.

  • Amy Chen

    Childhood asthma: the inhaler that moos and miaows

    Research on a ‘smart inhaler’ that moos, miaows or rings out pop tunes and makes kids with asthma use their preventer more often won young hospital pharmacist Amy Chan the recent Medicines New Zealand 2015 Value of Medicines award.

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    Pressure injuries: reporting brings results

    Attempts to have pressure injury data regularly collected and reported as a nationwide quality indicator have been unsuccessful to date. But four district health boards decided not to wait for the rest of the country. FIONA CASSIE finds out about the Northern Region’s successful campaign to reduce harm from pressure injuries. 

June 2015 Vol 15 (3)

  • E Cigarettes ICON

    E-cigarettes: lifesavers or smokescreen?

    When it comes to smoking cessation tools, it seems there are mixed signals around e-cigarettes. Some argue they could be lifesavers for tobacco smokers struggling to quit; others argue they are a smokescreen for a new generation of problems. *So what knowledge should nurses have on the subject? Nursing Review attempts to clear the air.* 

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    InterRAI - the tight and tiring race to meet mandatory deadline

    From 1 July – after a somewhat hurried and harried introduction – interRAI will be the mandatory clinical assessment tool for nurses to use in residential aged care facilities nationwide. FIONA CASSIE catches up with some nursing leaders as facilities head down the home straight in a race to meet the deadline to train nurses in an already time and resource-stretched sector.

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    InterRAI - convert says it’s worth the effort

    While interRAI is still the new, and sometimes unpopular, kid on the block in residential aged care, it is already well established in the DHBs’ Health of Older People community sector. FIONA CASSIE talks to a Nelson gerontology nurse and interRAI lead practitioner GABRIELLE STENT about why she thinks interRAI is worth getting to know.

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    Research focus on Ageing Well

    Nursing-led research projects are being recommended for a share of the $14.6 million Ageing Well research challenge launched earlier this year.

  • brain cogs thinking

    Gynaecological exams - enhancing cultural safety and comfort

    Pelvic examinations involve much more than good speculum technique. Researcher Dr Catherine Cook addressed the recent NZNO Women’s Health Section conference about what Māori women reported made a gynaecology exam into a positive experience they were willing to repeat. FIONA CASSIE reports.

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    Better LTC self-management - starting small and thinking big

    Counties Manukau District Health Board is entering its fifth year of successive campaigns to foster community answers to better self-management of long-term conditions (LTC) and fewer hospital admissions. FIONA CASSIE finds out more about the latest campaign, Manaaki Hauora, and about 'Huff and Puff'; just one of the 20 plus projects now underway.

April 2015 Vol 15 (2)

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    Nurses asked to maximise the health dollar

    This International Nurses Day, nurses are being asked not to leave health system finances just to the bean-counters in the back room. Instead, the International Council of Nurses (ICN) says nurses should be actively engaged in thinking about how each dollar can be best spent to improve health care. Nursing Review reports.

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    In coats of grey and scarlet - New Zealand nurses at war

    One hundred years ago the first ever contingent of the New Zealand Army Nursing Service sailed out of Wellington clutching bouquets and waving multicoloured streamers. FIONA CASSIE tells the tale of how nursing fought hard for the right to accompany their boys to war and, like them, serve while battling heat stroke and dysentery in the East and trench foot on the Western Front.

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    Nursing tales go live with launch of new website

    Tales of the days of nursing hostel curfews, starched caps and when “doctors were God” can be heard online with the launch of New Zealand’s first nursing oral history archive.

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    Turning around the ocean liner - the shifting of resources to the primary health sector

    Nursing Review caught up with Minister of Health and former GP, Hon Dr JONATHAN COLEMAN, recently to talk about his plans to move more funding from the secondary to the primary health sector, and his views on the nursing and physician assistant roles.

October 2014 Vol 14 (5)

  • Helping children

    Helping children survive and thrive

    FIONA CASSIE talks to nursing leader and Children's Team member Sonia Rapana about her role in the Children's Team initiative to help children not only survive but also thrive.

August 2014 Vol 14 (4)

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    Election time challenge to RNs

    JUDY YARWOOD, co-chair of the College of Nurses, reflects on the negative impacts of inequality on people’s health and wellbeing and calls on RNs to challenge inequality as election day looms.

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    Maintaining appropriate boundaries with patients

    There’s a slippery slope between going the extra mile for a patient or their family and crossing the threshold into inappropriate behaviour. Nurse-turned-solicitor ROBIN KAY explores the boundaries of this tricky issue.

June 2014 Vol 14 (3)

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    "India NZ’s biggest migrant nurse source""Sharp drop in NZ nurses crossing Tasman" "Record new graduate nurses registered" "NNO vision for 100% graduate nurse employment by 2018"

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    Do we care about carers?

    The frustration and isolation of suddenly becoming a 24/7 carer for her husband in an “ad hoc” and “failing” health system prompted long-standing Wellington local politician HELENE RITCHIE to tell her story and call for a Royal Commission inquiry into carer issues.

May 2014 Vol 14 (2)

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    Caring about or caring for patients?

    Is a nurse showering a patient or brushing their hair an indulgence we can longer expect in today’s hectic wards? Is team nursing and delegation of more and more personal care to health care assistants the logical and inevitable next step? FIONA CASSIE finds out more about models of care in today’s acute hospitals.

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    Team model shaken, showered, shifted & survived

    There are probably fewer more challenging tests of teamwork than a 6.3 magnitude earthquake turning your ward into an indoor waterfall, followed by having to evacuate patients on mattresses down a sodden stairwell in ongoing aftershocks.

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    Nurses want to shower their patient

    Asking a hospital aide to shower a surgical patient with wound dressings, drains, drips and feeding tubes is no easy step for nurse or aide.

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    The health care assistant debate

    Unregulated dogsbodies or essential members of the clinical team – either way, health care assistants are increasingly having a stronger presence in our hospital wards. FIONA CASSIE provides a beginner’s guide to HCAs and shares some nurse leaders’ thoughts – positive and negative – on the role and some recent HCA training innovations.

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    Learn from UK’s mistakes?

    In the wake of the Francis Inquiry into Mid-Staffordshire NHS Trust, and reports of failings in other hospitals and care homes, the UK Government asked Times journalist Camilla Cavendish to review what can be done to “ensure that unregistered staff in the NHS and social care treat all patients and clients with care and compassion”.

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    End-of-life Care: Postcards at the edge

    Initiating difficult conversations with the elderly or very ill about their end-of-life care is very much the ‘bread and butter’ of patient-centred nursing care. April 16 has been designated Conversations that Count Day as a national awareness day for advance care planning (ACP). Find out more ePostcards and eLearning in this sensitive but sensible area.

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    ‘Judging’ mental health nursing

    MARK SMITH of Te Pou puts the case for using ‘outcomes’ to judge ‘success’ in mental health nursing.

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    Right nurse, right place, and right time?

    Five years down the track, implementing Safe Staffing Healthy Workplace Unit’s safe staffing tools in public hospitals is still a steady work in progress. FIONA CASSIE talks to unit director LISA SKEET about early pockets of success, TrendCare naysayers, and the need for DHBs to turn hard data into more nurses on the floor.

March 2014 Vol 14 (1)

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    NEWS BRIEFS including:Mid-year graduating nurses still job-hunting at year’s end/ interRAI funding/ Greens up ‘nurses in schools’ policy/ Registration medal shortage/Nursing Appointments

January 2014 Vol 13 (8)

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    Privacy in the digital age

    By the end of 2014, the aim is for every New Zealander to be able to electronically access their core personal health information. This prompts new challenges and new privacy issues. FIONA CASSIE talks to nursing leaders about increasing moves to shared electronic health information, about protecting privacy and why it is important for nurses – even the IT shy – to be involved every step of the way.By the end of 2014, the aim is for every New Zealander to be able to electronically access their core personal health information. This prompts new challenges and new privacy issues. FIONA CASSIE talks to nursing leaders about increasing moves to shared electronic health information, about protecting privacy and why it is important for nurses – even the IT shy – to be involved every step of the way.

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    Rationed time leads to rationed care?

    Missed care, rushed care, and tick box care plans … Researcher BERT TEEKMAN set out to find out was happening to bedside nursing and decided your average ‘med/surg’ nurse was definitely more sinned against than sinning under today’s managerial-focused health system. FIONA CASSIE finds out more.

  • Starched caps to care rationing

    It is 50 years since College of Nurses co-chair and nursing lecturer JUDY YARWOOD donned a starched nursing cap for the first time. She reflects back on those five decades plus on caring and care ‘rationing’ for today’s nurse.


September 2013 Vol 13 (6)

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    Role-play winning teaching formula

    Turning science into stories and mini-dramas has won Unitec nursing school science lecturer Sue White a Tertiary Teaching Excellence Award for 2013. FIONA CASSIE talks to her about science, storytelling, and helping nursing students discover the scientist within.

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    Postgraduate funding for 2014 unknown

    An announcement is expected soon about the funding and priorities for nurse postgraduate study in 2014 – and possibly, change is afoot.

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    Health Literacy – everyone’s business

    Today’s patients and families have a myriad of health information just a click, a phone call, or an appointment away. The challenge is understanding and processing all that information to meet their health needs. KATHY HOLLOWAY calls on nurses to step up their health literacy skills.

  • Robin Kay

    Don’t read what you don’t need

    Patient privacy breaches have been hitting the headlines. The infamous ‘eel’ x-ray in Auckland led to staff dismissals, and spying on cricket star Jesse Ryder’s clinical notes resulted in four clinicians facing disciplinary action. Nurse-turned-lawyer ROBIN KAY looks at the legal and ethical issues for nurses around accessing patient records – particularly now that unauthorised reading of a file leaves an ‘electronic fingerprint’.

July 2013 Vol 13 (5)

  • Pioneering MidCentral makes “u-turn” and launches EnhancedCare+

    One of the country’s long-term conditions care pioneers has been bubbling with innovation but lagging behind in patients signed up to its basic care package.

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    Getting the heart tick

    After lagging at the bottom, Western Bay of Plenty PHO is now perched at the top of the ‘more heart checks’ performance table. FIONA CASSIE talks to RN and general practice coordinator Donna McArley on getting the heart tick and moving on to managing those highlighted as being at risk. She also talks to outreach clinical nurse leader Sue Matthews about doing heart checks at truck stops to freezing works.

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    Diabetes: Revisiting ‘back-to-basics’ education helps poor self-management

    A Christchurch randomised-control trial found people struggling with managing their diabetes made significant improvements after a one-day education session. FIONA CASSIE talks to Lisa Whitehead about the research team’s findings and their ‘hunch’ that combining cognitive behaviour therapy with education could be even more effective.

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    NEWS including: New graduate job data online/ Meningitis research highlights sharing drinks risk/ Nursing ePortfolio to be rolled out/ Kiwi nurse in Oz honours list

April 2013 Vol 13 (4)

February 2013

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    Two years on and not forgotten

    It is two years since the first quake victim was carried into Christchurch Hospital’s emergency department – a young girl scooped up by a stranger from the rubble. FIONA CASSIE talks to ED nurse researcher SANDY RICHARDSON about her personal research project collecting more than 90 stories from staff working in ED on 22 February 2011 – and why after the heroic phase comes the flat.

December 2012

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    ICN: NZ voice at International Council of Nurses

    FIONA CASSIE catches up with International Council of Nurses director Marion Guy about her role on the 113-year-old federation of nursing organisation’s board and efforts to make ICN more sustainable.

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    Emergency Medicine: ED's reluctant 'frequent fliers'

    So-called ‘frequent fliers’ to emergency departments are often very unwell with complex health needs and feel they have little other option, a nurse research team has found. FIONA CASSIE talks to leader researcher Dr Kathy Nelson about some of her initial findings.

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    Rehabilitation: stopping the dominos toppling

    Timely phone calls after discharge can help the frail elderly stay well and stay home. FIONA CASSIE reports on Dr Claire Heppenstall’s PhD research into the frail elderly recently presented to the College of Nurses symposium.

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    Child protection: being safe not sorry: training to protect...

    The White Paper for Vulnerable Children was a major new policy plank for 2012 and training all ‘front line professionals’ in detecting child abuse and neglect is one of its key aims. FIONA CASSIE finds out more about why child protection training is important for nurses.

November 2012

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    Child Protection White Paper: nurses and resources missing in action

    Nursing leaders are concerned at the failure to mention nursing or to address poverty and resource issues in the Government’s new Children’s Action Plan.

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    International lessons on nurse education

    KATHY HOLLOWAY and BRONWYN HEDGECOCK report back on some of the themes and findings presented at the Fourth International Nurse Education Conference (NETNEP 2012) held recently in Baltimore, USA.

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    e-nurses needed – click here

    Electronic health records are just the tip of the e-health iceberg, and there is pressure on New Zealand nurses to understand the trends, reports KATHY HOLLOWAY.

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    Doing the right thing

    How should nurses behave? The Nursing Council recently released its 21st century guide to what patients should and shouldn’t expect from their nurse. FIONA CASSIE looks at what’s new in a new Code of Conduct underpinned by traditional values

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    Nurse 'productivity': not repeating mistakes of the '90s

    The past two decades have drawn on factory theory to measure and improve nurse productivity. FIONA CASSIE talks to Nicola North about the need to take a ‘big picture’ systems approach to ensure the mistakes of the 1990s are not repeated.

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    TPPA trade-off sees loss of cheap drugs?

    Understand the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) FIONA CASSIE finds out more from public health campaigner Deborah Gleeson on why she believes nurses should know more.

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    Elderly resilience following Canterbury quakes

    How the elderly fared in the Christchurch quakes was the focus for several presentations at the recent Baby Boomers & Beyond symposium held in the shaky city. FIONA CASSIE reports on a presentations by PhD student Michael Annear:

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    Mass rest home evacuations: how did the elderly fare?

    FIONA CASSIE reports on  Canterbury DHB nurse leader, Becky Hickmott's and researcher Dr Claire Heppenstall's presentations (to the Baby Boomers & Beyond Symposium) on how  elderly evacuees fared after the mass rest home evacuations that followed the  February 2011 quakes in Christchurch.

September 2012

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    The sore throat that can break hearts

    Just a sore throat … too many families now know some sore throats last a lifetime. FIONA CASSIE talks with some of the passionate pioneers of school throat-swabbing campaigns as the national Rheumatic Fever Prevention programme rolls out.

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    South Auckland pioneering new school clinic model

    *It was in South Auckland that school-based sore throat clinics were first trialled in New Zealand.*

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    ‘Dishing the dirt’ on hand hygiene

    Keeping your hands clean? Maybe not. National statistics show Kiwi nurses are missing one in three occasions they should be reaching for the hand gel. FIONA CASSIE looks at the Hand Hygiene New Zealand programme.

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    Pressure Injuries: an ugly sore on the health system

    They rarely grab the headlines but thousands of New Zealanders each year get preventable pressure injuries – and some die. FIONA CASSIE looks at new guidelines, the new name, and new efforts to heal this health system scar.

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    Sensitivity over nurse sensitive indicators

    Pressure injuries are one barometer for the quality of nursing care.

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    Shape-up call for primary health care

    New Zealand Nurses Organisation policy advisor Jill Clendon took a look at the New Zealand general practice model of primary health care and found it lacking at the recent primary health care nurses conference.

July 2012

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    The whānau ora approach to nursing chronic conditions

    If your car is your home, it’s tough getting diabetes under control. FIONA CASSIE looks at a whānau ora approach to chronic conditions at one of the country’s first whānau ora centres.

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    The "non--nursing" whānau ora model: Te Puna Hauora

    Lyvia Marsden brings 50 years of nursing to the ‘non-nursing’ whānau ora model she developed for North Shore’s Te Puna Hauora. FIONA CASSIE talks to the president of the National Council of Māori Nurses and other Te Puna nurses about their approach to chronic conditions and whānau ora. And how nurses can't be all things to all people.

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    Diabetes nursing: checked out but not checked off

    From July 1, free Get Checked diabetes annual reviews are no longer. Funding for the maligned scheme gave a kickstart to many nurse-led diabetes clinics in primary care. What happens next?

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    Bi-level ventilation: breathing new life into patients

    Respiratory nurse practitioner Diana Hart helps the morbidly obese breathe easily again at night. FIONA CASSIE learns more about her successful bi-level ventilation clinics.

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    The nurse practitioner will see you now...

    JILL WILKINSON and ANGELA BATES profile a nurse practitioner-led health centre looking after many of central Wellington’s homeless and high needs population.

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    Nurse Research: the qualitative research circle

    Principal researcher VALERIE NORTON and novice research nurse LEANNE WALDEN reflect on how their respective roles in a palliative care research study flowed on to influence their nursing and research practice.

May 2012

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    Telehealth research: empowering patients and freeing up nurses?

    Can telehealth monitors in the home help nurses and doctors care for more patients with chronic conditions? Preliminary results from the country’s second telehealth research project – ASSET – indicate the answer is probably “yes”. FIONA CASSIE reports.

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    Map of Medicine development at MidCentral DHB

    Map of Medicine** is an electronic collection of evidence-based care “maps” connecting all the knowledge and services around a clinical condition.

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    Nurse's role in making research count in everyday practice

    RRR PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT ARTICLE: There’s a rather wonderful and instructive irony in the celebration of International Nurses Day – the anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birth – with the theme for 2012 of ‘Closing the gap: From evidence to action(1). Nightingale represents anything but a gap between evidence and action. Described by her first biographer as a ‘passionate statistician' (2), she was not only a researcher and research user but also a designer of research graphics (3). Her successes in reforming military health services and standardising hospital statistics (3) are exemplars of how to use evidence to drive improvements in practice. In this learning activity, we’ll explore our contemporary responsibilities and opportunities for bringing evidence to everyday nursing decision-making and actions.

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    Reducing rest home admissions to ED

    The Capital and Coast District Health Board (CCDHB) District Nursing Hospital Admission Prevention Project can now add to its list of achievements a reduction in rest home patients needing to be admitted to Wellington ED.

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    Rapid Rounds and Nurse Facilitated Discharge innovations free up patient bed days

    Rapid Rounds

August 2011

July 2010

  • High-tech birth places

    Major New Zealand midwifery research into 16,000-plus low-risk women’s births has found “astounding results”. The more high-tech the hospital is you plan to give birth in, the more likely you are to end up with an emergency caesarean and a baby in neonatal intensive care.

April 2010

September 2009

  • RN medal

    NZ nursing history: 100 years of NZNO

    In 1909 New Zealand nurses formed the first national voice for nursing. For much of its first 100 years this voice recoiled at becoming a union but eventually evolved into the dual professional and industrial roles of today’s New Zealand Nurses Organisation. Fiona Cassie in 2009 looked back at NZNO's history.