Perhaps the better staffing keeps the nurses working in Victoria:
The union movement "should be about more than just salary and benefits," says Belinda Morieson,
RN. She illustrates this principle by detailing how the nurses organization she heads went about
winning the first legally mandated nurse-to-patient staffing ratio anywhere.
That accomplishment, and its ramifications in improving the quality of patient care, have captured
the imagination of nurses across her native Australia and around the world, fueling their
determination to raise the issue of staffing ratios to a new level.
It has also served to underscore that working conditions are the most common cause of the
worldwide shortage of nurses working in hospitals and better staffing ratios the increasingly
accepted formula for ending the crisis.
Morieson is secretary - the leading position - of the Victoria
Branch of the Australian Nursing Association. Since
securing nurse-to-patient staffing ratios in that Australian
state last year, 2,600 nurses who had moved to work in
other settings have returned to the hospitals there. This has
meant an overall 13 percent increase in the active nursing
This was due in part to reentry and refresher courses
conducted by the major hospitals and overseen by the board
of nursing. Over 1,600 of the returning nurses came through
the courses and last month there were 300 nurses waiting
for training slots.