Click here to edit title

A website for young nurses and the young at heart in Aotearoa

The Tea Room

Welcome to the Nurses Station Blog. An opportunity to have a say about things affecting you. Email us on if you have a burning issue you want to talk about. We'd love to publish you!

From The Nurses Station Team: Teniah, Anne, Anita, Melissa, Maddy, Lisa & Jill

view:  full / summary

A Culture Of Caring

Posted by Teniah on May 25, 2014 at 7:45 PM Comments comments (0)

One of the beautiful things about being young nurses is that we have the ability to change the culture of nursing for the better....

We have the power to create a work environment that is full of loving-kindness, support, encouragement and genuine well-being. We have the opportunity to make positive change. It might not be easy, but it IS possible.

It has become so apparent to me lately, the irony of how un-caring an environment nurses actually work in. We offer our patients so much kindness and genuine care, and yet rip each other to bits. What's up with that? Have you ever wondered why that is? Why do we lavish so much attention and love to our patients, and yet look down on our colleagues when they are feeling tired/weak/stressed?

I can't help but wonder what working as a nurse would feel like if you came in to work and first thing in the morning you said something encouraging and uplifting to the night-staff who have worked so hard all night to prepare for the next shift coming on....And likewise, the afternoon staff when they arrive - commenting on how hard their colleagues have worked to ensure patients were discharged properly, or cared for in preparation for their shift.....

What if our shifts were about more than just looking after patients - what if we looked after each other too? What if we prepared for the next shift, with INTENTION, thinking of what the next shift might need, or how we might support them. What if we left lovely messages for our colleagues to brighten their day.....

Man, wouldn't that be a change from all the moaning and groaning, from all the bullying and bitterness that we currently face!!!

I guess my thoughts have just been bombarded lately by the overwhelming evidence that nursing culture really hasn't changed that much. While it has changed some, it still can sometimes be a really hostile place to work. I think it's about time we made some really intentional changes!!!! As young nurses, I think we have an obligation to the future of nursing to ensure that the culture of nursing DOES change.

It's not just about the attitudes of people, but what about lifestyles? I wonder what would happen if we encouraged each other to make healthy lifestyle choices, and "practice what we preach". What if we encouraged each other and lifted each other up when people are out sick, or dealing with stressful life events. Would't that be amazing? To know that you worked in an environment where you actually looked after and cared for one another. It's my personal goal to do everything in my power to push towards this goal....To speak up and support positive change....To make the effort every day to encourage my colleagues and support them.

"The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new" - Socrates

What does the budget mean for nurses?

Posted by Jill on May 18, 2014 at 5:35 PM Comments comments (0)

In the past week, I have been involved in analysing, and writing and talking about the budget. The budget outlines the government’s proposed spending for the following one to four years and gives us an indication of where health and nurses specifically might benefit or where there might be cutbacks. This year the government’s budget is a little more generous than usual because the government has a surplus. This means their anticipated income is greater than their anticipated expenditure. In theory, this should mean most of us should benefit in some way from the budget. Of course, it is slightly more complicated than that but I thought I would try to give you a quick run down here on how you as a nurse may benefit (or not) from the budget.


First the good news. The government has announced increased funding for elective surgery (possibly a good thing if you need a hip replacement or bariatric surgery), a new healthy families campaign (sounds like a revamp of the old healthy eating healthy action programme but we don’t know for sure yet), an extra $40 million dollars for aged care (we’re not sure what this will go on yet either – possibly the government is anticipating losing the equal pay case in which case nurses and caregivers may benefit from a pay increase), and increased funding for youth health and specialist sexual health violence services. There is also the free GP visits and prescriptions for under 13 year olds, extra funding for oral health, new funding for whānau ora navigators, $33 million for vulnerable children, extensions to paid parental leave, $200 million of new capital for health sector projects (mostly IT and the Greymouth hospital), proposed reductions in ACC levys, more funding for budgeting services, and for rural and Māori housing. Children with profound deafness will get two cochlear implants funded instead of one (great news and long overdue), and there is additional funding for rheumatic fever screening and awareness. In other words, a whole basket of goodness in terms of early intervention programmes –many of the things nurses have been advocating. Nurses should also benefit from extensions to paid parental leave and increased funding for early childhood education.


On the downside, DHBs have received the short end of the stick. The CTU estimated DHBs would need $11,503 million in funding just to maintain current services. What did they get? $11,405 million – a shortfall of $98 million. Unfortunately, this means nurses in DHBs are likely to see continued pressure to make savings, delays in replacing staff, and the ongoing potential for harm to patients if the focus continues to remain on fiscal restraint and cutbacks (go and have a read of what happens when hospital boards focus too much on fiscal restraint: ( ). There is also no allowance for the upcoming MECA negotiations where NZNO will be pushing for a pay rise for nurses. The other thing that annoys me a little about this budget is that nurses have barely rated a mention in terms of health initiatives. Doctors are specifically identified as receiving increases in professional development funding, free GP visits are clearly doctor focused, but why hasn’t the government made a clear commitment to professional development funding for nurses or provided funding for patients to directly access RN and NP services - for example nurses in schools or funding for primary mental health nurses or nurse practitioners in independent practice? Classic opportunities to improve access to health care for many New Zealand families.


So this year’s budget gets a 5/10 from me. 5 points for heading down the right track in terms of focusing on early intervention initiatives, but it loses 5 points for failing to fund DHBs adequately or take advantage of opportunities to utilise the nursing workforce more effectively.


What do you think?


Taking a break

Posted by Jill on May 5, 2014 at 3:45 PM Comments comments (1)

I have recently returned from a two week holiday. The break away really did some good. I feel refreshed and happy to be back at work. While I was away, I didn’t look at a single email from work, I didn’t log in once to my work computer and I left my work cell phone switched off. It was hard! In this day of smart phones, tablets, gmail and Facebook, to completely remove yourself from anything remotely work-related is becomingly increasingly difficult, even impossible! And yet I managed it even though I was within wifi access most of the time. I remember Helen Clark used to disappear into the mountains for her holidays and now I understand why – no-one could ever contact her there and she could truly have a break from what must have been some pretty challenging politics. Looks like Judith Collins would do well to take a lead from her at the moment!

Having been back a couple of days now and having had time to reflect on what was a pretty awesome holiday, the importance of having had that break is now only just becoming clear. Avoiding burnout, taking some ‘self time’, spending time with family and switching off the smart phone are all good for us physically, mentally and spiritually. Even if it’s only for a couple of days, give it a try. Work fades into the background, no-one can phone you to do an extra shift, and you’ll come back to work feeling ready to face the next onslaught. As nurses, we need to look after ourselves as much as we need to look after our families and our patients. If we’re not rested and feeling well, how can we care for others? Take a break, not just days off, take a real break and switch the phone and the computer off. I highly recommend it!


Welcome to our new blog!

Posted by on April 9, 2014 at 4:10 PM Comments comments (0)

After giving it a try for a year, we have decided that the forum wasn't really working. Although there were some great topics and a little bit of discussion, people weren't really engaging to the level we thought they might. This seems to be mostly because Facebook has taken over a lot of the function of forums in general and given that our Facebook page has been doing pretty well this seems to be the case for the Nurses Station too. So we thought we'd give a blog a try. We have some great writers in our group so our plan is to get something up on here every month or two - even more often if our lives and work let us.


So, watch this space and we'll let you know via Facebook when something new is posted. And if you've got a burning issue that you just want to share, flick us an email on and we'll get you in print. I'm pretty sure anything you contribute that gets published can go in your portfolio as well!


In the meantime, keep your eyes peeled for the upcoming Young Nurse of the Year Awards which are coming up later this year. Nomination forms will be available on in the next couple of weeks. If you know of a young nurse you think is pretty special, please nominate them for this fantastic award.


Oh, and it's an election year so we might do some stuff on why you should vote as well!