11 Sep 2008

Council overrruled on name change for nurses

3:24 pm on 11 September 2008

The Minister of Health has overruled nursing's regulatory body and re-titled more than 130 nurses.

A notice of motion tabled in Parliament has revoked a decision by the Nursing Council to rename nurses trained between 2000 and 2004 as nurse assistants.

The change was viewed by nurses as degrading their qualifications. The 137 nurses affected will now revert to their previous title of enrolled nurse.

The body representing nurses, the New Zealand Nurses Organisation, says the change represents justice.

It says Health Minister David Cunliffe would not have been forced to do this if the Nursing Council had not ignored his letter requesting a title change, and if it followed a Regulation Review Committee name change recommendation.

Nurses Organisation chief executive Geoff Annals is now calling for answers from the Nursing Council.