‘You can’t turn on and off healthcare’: the place of the nurse in policy

With health budgets across the globe exploding, nurses are emerging as one of the best ways to keep costs down.

In hospitals, every 10% increase in the numbers of nurses with bachelor’s degrees reduces patient mortality by 7%. And every extra patient added to a nurse workload increases the likelihood of someone dying within 30 days by 7%. Yet when health budgets are slashed, nurses are often the first to go.

Dr Frances Hughes has recently been appointed as Chief Executive Officer of the International Council of Nurses, and has recently received a UTS Alumni Award for her work in nursing. She has previously also held senior leadership positions with the World Health Organisation and most recently, as Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer for the Queensland Department of Health.

Dr Hughes joined Ellen Leabeater to discuss how nurses can influence government policy, and how they can reduce the budget bottom line.

Image: Supplied

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