Nurses to continue raising voices for change

Nurses across the public, private and aged care sectors are spending International Nurses Day reflecting on their tireless efforts to provide quality care to patients, residents and local communities despite the current workforce challenges.

Determined to secure a brighter future for the profession, NSW Nurses and Midwives’ Association (NSWNMA) General Secretary, Shaye Candish, said the day was an opportunity to recognise the essential contribution of nurses and pay tribute to nurses who speak up for change.

“Nurses are vital for our healthcare system. Their critical thinking and expert coordination prove nurses must be involved whenever decisions are made about healthcare reform or new policies,” said Ms Candish.

“Over the last 12 months we’ve seen commitments from governments to deliver much needed changes in the aged care and public health sectors which will have an immense impact on our ability to provide the quality care patients and residents rightly deserve.

“This progress is thanks to nurses and midwives across NSW demanding better, and it highlights their vital role in advocating for improved healthcare for all.”

NSWNMA Councillor and Western Sydney critical care nurse, Wing Besilos, said nurses had marched in the streets around the globe for the past year to voice their dire working conditions.

“If we want dignified workplaces, we need to speak out. Our weapons are our voices, our weapons are ourselves,” said Ms Besilos.

NSWNMA Assistant General Secretary Michael Whaites, agreed nurses were not just leaders in healthcare, but also leaders in fighting for change.

“Our members have campaigned for evidence-based nurse-to-patient ratios for many years. They shouldered the brunt of the pandemic over three long years, and they’ve gone to extraordinary lengths to deliver patient-centred care, often to the detriment of their own health and wellbeing,” said Mr Whaites.

“This International Nurses Day is no different. Today, we’ll see nurses and midwives taking protected industrial action for two-hours at two major Sydney private hospitals as they fight to secure safe staffing ratios and a fair pay rise that recognises their cost of living pressures.

“We look forward to continuing to build an even stronger future for the professions of nursing and midwifery, and we’ll keep fighting for as long as it takes.

“If you see a nurse or midwife today, be sure to celebrate them and their contributions to our community.”

International Nurses Day is celebrated around the world on May 12 to mark the anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birth and the contributions nurses make to healthcare.

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