DHB potential to reduce frontline staff
The College of Nurses recognises the challenges DHBs face in meeting budget deficits. It is clear that this will be a
long standing problem for the foreseeable future. DHBs such as Hawkes Bay, Bay of Plenty and Waikato will be just the
first to confront difficult decisions.
We hope DHBs will not make the same short sighted decisions that were made during the failed health reforms of the
The College can not condone any planned reduction in registered nursing staff as an attempt to balance the bottom line.
Such a response ignores copious evidence about patient safety and the palpable distress of registered nurses already
struggling at the front line.
Intelligent DHB leadership will increase their investment in registered nurses to save money in the longer term.
Repeated research shows that sufficient registered nurses prevent costly mistakes and deaths, reduce unplanned
readmissions, reduce expensive and time consuming complaints. In addition a stressed nursing workforce is costly in
terms of continuous turnover of staff and endless recruitment and retention strategies.
The College of Nurses hopes that costly mistakes of the past will not be repeated.
Information about the College of Nurses
The College is a professional body of New Zealand Registered Nurses and Nurse Practitioners from all regions and
specialties. It provides a voice for the nursing profession and professional commentary on issues which affect nurses,
and also the health of the whole community. Its aim is to support excellence in clinical practice, research and
education and to work with consumers to influence health policy. The College is committed to the Treaty of Waitangi and
the improvement of Maori health. This commitment is reflected in the bicultural structure of the organisation.
The College of Nurses Vision is “100% Access, Zero Disparities in healthcare for all New Zealanders.