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Kai Tiaki Nursing Research


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Editorial: Preparing nurses for the future workforce
The 2016 New Zealand Health Strategy emphasises the need for health services that meet new population health challenges, where people are living longer with more complex and chronic conditions. As the largest demographic in the health workforce, nurses are the professional group who are most able to do more to meet diverse population health needs. Realising this vision for the profession’s future contribution to new models of care requires a sound professional knowledge and evidence base that enables nursing to safely work to the full extent of their scope of practice (MOH, 2017). The environments in which nurses practice are undergoing significant changes, including a stronger emphasis on consumer centred care, more flexible team focused models of health and social care, and the increasing use of new health technologies at the interface of care. Nurses are already developing more specialist and expanded roles within collaborative care teams and will be integral to the provision of new and innovative health care approaches (NCNZ, 2017). The papers in this issue of Kai Tiaki Nursing Research address some key issues in undergraduate education, technological solutions for education and practice, as well as some contemporary issues that remain challenging for nurses in practice including workplace violence and managing immunisation declines.

Educating nurses for the future workforce
As the largest professional group in the health workforce, who often have more sustained contact with health consumers, nurses are well placed to contribute to the reduction of smoking prevalence, and goal of a Smokefree New Zealand by 2025 (MOH, 2015). However, nurses’ own smoking behaviours may negatively influence how they provide support for smoking cessation to health consumers. Walker and Willis explore the prevalence of smoking among New Zealand nursing students, suggesting that while smoking rates among younger students are decreasing, there is a continued higher incidence of smoking in older student groups. As the health professionals of the future, more needs to be done to help nurses to quit while they are students. A further theme in educating nurses for the future health workforce is the idea that compassion is a normative attribute for health professionals. Compassion is integral to the nursing profession’s moral compass; it is an essential element of nurses’ capacity to recognise and empathise with the vulnerability of people experiencing illness and other life events. And yet, compassion is not necessarily visible as a concept in undergraduate nursing curricula. Vick, Dannenfeldt and Shaw investigate whether students beginning health care studies have compassionate attributes. Their findings show that students in the study sample entered undergraduate nursing, midwifery and social work programmes with attributes of compassion including kindness and common humanity. These researchers suggest that educators should work to reinforce the values, hopes and aspirations that bring students into helping professions.

Technology and health care of the future
Innovative approaches using new technologies is a key factor driving change in the delivery of health care, influencing how nurses learn, and communicate and interact with health consumers (MOH, 2016). Briscoe, Mackay and Harding explore whether the use of simulation adds value in preparing student nurses for situations they may encounter during clinical practice experiences. Simulation refers to the use of technology and other learning strategies in creating life-like client situations, where students can safely engage in learning situations to reflect on and modify practice, without the risk of making errors in the care of actual health consumers. The findings of this study suggest that simulation adds value to learning in supporting student nurses to build confidence, knowledge and skills for clinical practice. New technologies also create innovative ways of supporting health consumers through technological solutions, including electronic devices to support care delivery. Hendry and Prislesky investigate the logistics and acceptability of an Electronic Medication Dispenser (EMD) for health consumers within a home-based medication management service. The EMD acts as a substitute for face-to-face in home visits by community service staff, to remind elderly clients to take their medication on time. The findings of this study suggest that using the EMD is a viable option that promotes more independence for clients who met the specific inclusion criteria.

Contemporary issues in practice
Nurses work in partnership with health consumers and their families, whānau and communities to promote and protect their wellbeing. Respect for health consumers is a central value for nurses in providing safe and competent care (NCNZ, 2012). However, violence toward nurses in the workplace is causing increasing concern regarding the physical and emotional impacts on nurses and potential consequences for the quality of care nurses can provide. Craig, Meyer and Marshall examine registered nurses’ experience of aggression and violence within an acute hospital setting and explore the impact that aggression management training has had on their ability to effectively manage aggressive and violent behaviour in the workplace. A further contemporary issue included in the selection of papers for this issue involves nursing management of immunisation declines. While immunisation is one of the most effective interventions in preventing communicable diseases in childhood, respect for the decisions health consumers make about whether to immunise their children is an important value for nurses working in primary care. However, ensuring that health consumers have the best opportunity to make informed decisions about immunisation is also a key nursing responsibility. The study by Marugeesh, Warren and Greaves interviewed nurses working in primary care, to explore how practices managed parents and caregivers wanting to decline childhood immunisations.

This edition of Kai Tiaki Nursing Research also includes a research brief on an innovative idea for a café in an aged care residential facility. The participants in this study related how the café fostered and enhanced social opportunities for the residents. Staff also reported on the value of being able to engage with residents and their families in both social and work related roles.

MOH. (2017). Nursing leadership narrative for change. Retrieved 28.08.2017 from

MOH. (2016). New Zealand Health Strategy: Future direction. Retrieved from

MOH. (2015). Smokefree 2025. Retrieved 28.08.2017 from

NCNZ. (2017). Strategic plan 2017-2022. Retrieved from

NCNZ. (2012). Code of conduct for nurses. Wellington

Item Type: Journal item
Uncontrolled Keywords: Nursing, workforce, Health service
Subjects: R Medicine > RT Nursing
Divisions: Schools > Centre for Health & Social Practice
Depositing User: Patricia McClunie-Trust
Date Deposited: 17 Jan 2018 22:12
Last Modified: 21 Jul 2023 04:50

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