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New Head For Nursing Council

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
New Head For Nursing Council

9 February 2009 - The Nursing Council of New Zealand has announced the appointment of Carolyn Reed as its new chief executive.

Council Chair Margaret Southwick says Reed brings to the role a deep understanding of the issues of nursing in New Zealand.

``She has a strong background in nursing practice and education and has developed a good understanding of the Nursing Council during her time as the Council's Education Advisor and more recently as Acting Chief Executive. She is held in high esteem in the profession both nationally and internationally and we are delighted with her appointment to this important position,'' Dr Southwick said.

Nursing Council has around 45,000 practising nurses and the Nursing Council is responsible for setting the scopes of practice, monitoring the standards of education and ensuring that nurses are fit and competent to practice.

Reed says she is excited about her new role which she sees as having a direct impact on safe nursing practice in New Zealand.

Reed is committed to working effectively with nursing colleagues. ``We are all working toward a common goal, whatever our position,'' she says.

With a career entirely in the health sector, Reed is well equipped as a practitioner and academic to take on her new role. She trained at Nelson Hospital and worked as a nurse for 15 years before completing a Masters degree and moving into nursing education at the Nelson-Marlborough Institute of Technology where she rose through a range of management roles to the position of Dean of the Health and Social Sciences faculty.

``I am absolutely passionate about nursing - it is an amazing career,'' she says.

The evolution of her roles has made for an interesting working life and Reed is excited about the new challenges she confronts. Her role involves scanning the national and international environment to ensure the Council is abreast with the issues confronting nursing practice and nursing standards.

``I want to see the Nursing Council positioned as an organisation that leads by example and achieves a balance between preserving high standards of care and public safety while being open and responsive to the changing environment. As we demand accountability from nurses so too we must be able to be accountable and clearly communicate the thinking behind the decisions the Council makes.''

To that end, the Council is beginning a major research project to determine if the way it currently measures competence - through hours in the job, competence assessment and professional development - is the best way to determine the competence of nurses. That will also feed into the Council's work to ensure that nurses who come from other countries meet New Zealand standards, which is one of the major challenges facing the Council.

Another aspiration Reed has is that she hopes to help boost the popularity of nursing as a career option. She also hopes a return of former nurses to the nursing workforce maybe an upside of the current economic environment. Reed intends to work with stakeholders on this issue.

``There is so much going on - nursing is an ever-expanding field and I look forward to working with my colleagues across the sector to enable the Council to come to sound solutions which benefit the profession and protect public safety,'' she says.

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