International Nurses Day

[Download PDF] I endorse the comments of the member for Port  Stephens and the member for Myall Lakes , and add my voice to the discussion on this matter of public importance, which is the annual celebration of International Nurses Day. 

We know that the work of nurses in our society is vital, whether it is emergency ward nursing staff caring for people in acute need, midwifery nurses preparing expectant mums to deliver newborn babies, or respite and palliative care nurses who are looking after people with long-term and often terminal illnesses. 

We owe much to the nurses of New South Wales. They carry out back-breaking work under some of the most stressful circumstances one can imagine.

They work long hours, overnight, on public holidays and throughout the weekend. They do this because they are devoted to the care of people who are in need. They are devoted to the principles of providing universal, world-class health care to any person who requires it. 

I have been fighting alongside the Nurses and Midwives Association, especially Blue Mountains nurses, for many years. I want to ensure that nurses are paid a good wage, are given respect and dignity in the workplace by their employers, and that patient care outcomes and safe nurse to patient ratios are front of mind for hospital and nursing home administrators, not the subject of budget bottom lines and profit margins.

The work of nurses is not made easier by the agenda of conservative governments such as the Baird Government.

The Baird Government is cutting services in local hospitals and is failing to legislate for registered nurses in aged-care facilities 24/7. It is presiding over chaotic emergency wards and chronic understaffing of acute mental health units and making it easier for private nursing home operators to cut costs and lower patient care standards.

It is timely on International Nurses Day for members of this House to reflect upon their own role in supporting the good work of nurses. We should not be looking to make the work of nurses more difficult; we should not be turning a blind eye to the needs of patients but we should be doing everything we can to support the wonderful people who dedicate their working lives to caring for others.

So thank you to the nurses and on International Nurses Day know that you have the support and admiration of your communities and society more broadly.