NSWNA appreciates aged care nurses

The NSWNA launched the Because We Care aged care campaign in NSW with a workplace visit to Red Leaf nursing home in Concord. Assistant General Secretary Judith Kiejda and NSWNA Officials arrived for the visit with new Because We Care signage on their cars to show their support for aged care nurses and a delicious cake for morning tea.

Vox pops:

Pay parity shows appreciation of hard work 

‘Aged care nurses are some of the hardest working members of our profession and are often the most vulnerable in terms of pay and conditions and support. Parity with the public sector will recognise their crucial contribution. I worked in aged care for a short time and, though I loved caring for the elderly, the pay and conditions did not reflect the responsibilities and expectations thrust upon us. Better pay and conditions will also help attract young nurses, which is vital given the ageing population and the ageing nursing profession.’

Holly Allen, Nurse Manager and Branch Official, Greenwich Hospital

More resources and nurses needed in aged care 

‘Our ageing population means more resources are needed in the aged care sector, and unions have an important role in making sure those resources go towards looking after the elderly and those who care for them, particularly nurses.’

O’Bray Smith, RN and Assistant Secretary, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital Branch

Bottom line is people’s lives, not saving dollars

‘All nurses have the same sorts of obligations: bills to pay and families to feed. But not all nurses are paid or treated equally. Aged care nursing is tough. We complain about workloads in the acute care sector but they’re under extreme stress, having to care for patients with multifaceted problems that can be even more demanding than patient-care in medical wards, and yet aged care nurses aren’t paid as much as nurses in the public sector. The elderly can live in aged care facilities for 20 years or more. The facility is their home and, sadly, sometimes nurses are their only family. The ANF and NSWNA have an important job increasing the recognition and appreciation of aged care nurses. The bottom line has to be people’s lives – including nurses’ lives – not the dollar.’

Michelle Cashman, RN, Gosford Hospital