Adverse impacts of violence towards nurses and midwives, the need for nurse-to-patient ratios in NSW and sustainability challenges confronting health will all be canvassed during the 74th Annual Conference of the NSW Nurses and Midwives’ Association (NSWNMA) in Sydney.
From today, more than 800 nurses and midwives from across NSW will gather at the International Convention Centre, Sydney to highlight issues impacting their professions and discuss what the future holds for health sector workers.
NSWNMA General Secretary, Brett Holmes, said the three day conference, themed Live Well: Promoting Self Care & Sustainability, would also focus on systemic issues including the current aged care staffing crisis, shortages in midwifery and the changing landscape in health overall.
“Our members are at the frontline of health and continue to face increasing challenges in their workplaces across the public, private, aged care, mental health, disability and community services sectors,” Mr Holmes said.
“They are constantly advocating for safe patient care across all spectrums and feel compelled to speak out on behalf of others, yet they themselves often bear the brunt of a health system buckling under increased pressures.
“We need a sustainable, fully-supported workforce in order to meet the growing needs of our ageing population, which we know is compounded with complex healthcare needs.
“This conference will be an opportunity for our 64,500 membership of nurses and midwives to use their collective strength and achieve better health outcomes for themselves and their professions.”
Today, eight Professional Day guest speakers will address the conference, including Dr Carlo Caponecchia, President of the International Association on Workplace Bullying and Harassment; Dr Jacqui Pich, nursing and midwifery violence researcher, UTS Sydney; Professor Susan Kurrle, Director of Cognitive Decline Partnerships Centre; Jacqui Cross, Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer and Craig Reucassel, ABC War on Waste.
On Thursday, 530 nurses and midwives will hear from NSW Minister for Health and Medical Research, Brad Hazzard, regarding state health funding. ANMF Federal Secretary, Annie Butler, will discuss the impacts of effective health campaigning, while international guest, Tracy Zambory, President of the Saskatchewan Union of Nurses, will outline the challenges of nursing and midwifery in Canada. ACTU Secretary, Sally McManus will also address the conference.
On Friday, delegates will debate resolutions and notices of motion, many of which aim to improve the support provided to hardworking nurses and midwives.
You can follow the 74th Annual Conference via social media, @nswnma and #NSWNMAconf