The gender pay gap in nursing

A new study in the US in March found that male nurses earn more than female nurses. How can this be? Don’t all nurses get paid according to their award and longevity in the job? Rae Sheo investigates.

Nurses get paid fairly for what they do, right?

Let’s start by looking at all aspects of our pay.

With the Productivity Commission looking into penalty rates in Australia, the loss of penalty rates is a real threat. Headlines show that penalty rates in the South Australian retail sector will be dropped on Saturdays and halved on Sundays, negatively affecting casuals and part-timers, those who can least afford it.

Nurses – especially those who work in aged care and the private system – need to be aware that this trend could lead to the privatisation of work contracts and EBAs.  In the current political climate, the NSW Ministry of Health won’t even negotiate over the public health system award, let alone talk about workplace relations.


So what happens in the US – the pinnacle of the privatisation model? Continue reading

Posted in: Employment issues
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Open letter to Tony Abbott: Shift work for nurses is not a lifestyle choice

Dani is a thirty (something) Intensive Care Nurse based in Sydney. This piece originally appeared on her blog Once Upon a Violet.

I’m not really the political type. I don’t have a major preference for any one party over another and I don’t ever judge a party by just its leader – whoever he or she might be. I believe there are flaws with all of the major parties and I believe the governing party should be changed regularly every few years. So when it comes to election time, I usually weigh up what affects me most at that stage in my life. But years ago when John Howard first started talking about the removal of penalty rates for shift workers, that’s when I began to get a little worried…


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Posted in: Nursing Specialty, Paediatrics
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Sam: ‘I’m proud to be an RN who works in nursing homes’

Samantha Cox, a registered nurse working in a nursing home, recently addressed Nambucca Heads Shire Council on the north NSW coast about the need to keep legislation which mandates an RN on duty all the time in high-needs aged care. Sam not only works in aged care but had the personal experience of her mother being in a nursing home due to a complex terminal disease. This is what Sam told the council.

Samantha Cox: I’m proud to say I’m a Registered Nurse, an RN who works in nursing homes, and have done so for the past 13 years.  I and many other RNs oversee the care given to our very vulnerable population, the elderly.

Many people are not aware that as of 1 July 2014, the wording of the Commonwealth Aged Care Act 1997 was altered; this affected the definitions in the NSW Public Health Act. What does this mean? It means that nursing homes in NSW may no longer be legally required to have an RN as Director of Nursing and no longer legally required to have an RN on duty at all times.

aged care Nambucca Heads

Sam is at the front of this group of aged care nurses from Nambucca Heads.

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Posted in: Nursing - Aged Care
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Research: collaborative clinical decision-making

Michelle Parker-Tomlin, a PhD candidate in clinical psychology, seeks your help with her research into inter-professional collaborative decision-making.

Michelle writes: I am currently a provisional psychologist and PhD Candidate in Clinical Psychology at Griffith University.  My research focus is clinical decision-making and health-related inter-professional collaborative practice.


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Posted in: Education

Never Alone – something must be done on family violence

The Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation has become a founding partner of the Luke Batty Foundation for the Never Alone campaign on domestic violence. Eleven year old Luke, the son of Rosie Batty, 2015 Australian of the Year, was murdered by his father in February 2014. Rosie Batty decided she had to seize this opportunity to name family violence, highlight its prevalence and tell the nation that something must be done.

Rosie Batty launched the campaign on what would have been Luke’s 13th birthday. Watch a TEN news item on the launch.

Nurses and midwives see family violence firsthand, in emergency departments, community health clinics and when we visit thousands of women in their homes. It’s time for us to join and build a movement that lets all victims know they are never alone.


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Posted in: Advocacy, ANMF, Violence, women
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