The more we push nurses, the more we stress health


Our campaign for a fair pay rise and fair conditions for nurses in the public health system has cranked up with the launch of a television advertising campaign.

The advertisement shows the incredible pressure nurses are working under, with little support and too much to do, taking them away from giving care to patients.

NSWNA General Secretary Brett Holmes says it will be a tough fight to get a fair deal out of the government and the ad informs the public about what we are asking for and why.

One of the central roles in the ad is filled by Sheila Kumar, a former nurse, who now works as an actor and singer. Sheila’s mother and sister are also nurses. Sheila says she feels privileged to have a role in the NSWNA’s ad campaign.

‘I haven’t worked as a nurse for some time (although I’m still registered) due to working on my acting and singing pursuits. Some of the main reasons I left, though, are exactly what we see in this ad: being overworked and understaffed on such a regular basis, doing 16-hour shifts. It was really beyond a joke.’

‘In my early 20s, when I was just a junior nurse, there was a really high turn-over rate of nurses in the Intensive Care Unit I worked in – so much so, that I was pretty much in a senior position within six months because everyone kept leaving. This kind of pressure (especially on junior staff), combined with a lack of training and resources, was quite terrifying and stressful – considering people’s lives were at stake.’

Advert line:
The more we push nurses,
the more we stress health.
… 16 hour days
… Unfair workloads
… Not enough nurses.
Unless the State Government acts now, over 20,000 nurses thinking of leaving, could leave.