A new voice for nurses might be headed to federal parliament.
Former registered nurse and current union leader Ged Kearney will run for the federal seat of Batman. President of the Australian Council of Trade Unions, Kearney will contest the inner-Melbourne electorate by-election for Labor.
The announcement was welcomed by the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (ANMF), of which Kearney was once federal secretary. The union said it was time nurses, midwives and carers finally had a voice in national parliament.
Kearney said she has so far drawn on her experience as a nurse during her campaign for federal election and said it will continue to play a role should she win.
“Of all the professions in the world, nurses have the most wondrous life experience, and that’s an important thing to take to parliament. They are also very ready to push up their sleeves, make hard decisions and get things done, and that’s what I want to do – I want outcomes.”
Assistant federal secretary Annie Butler said that through working as a registered nurse and with the ANMF, Kearney has hands-on experience in healthcare and aged care.
“She understands the daily pressures our members are facing each and every day in public and private hospitals, and aged care facilities.
“Ged also understands the issues that need to be resolved for the sake of patients and their families,” Butler said. “For example, the overwhelming workloads faced by many of our members working in aged care are just not understood let alone supported by our current politicians.”
In an interview with Nursing Review, Kearney discussed the nursing and aged care-focused policies she will take into the by-election and what having a nurse in parliament would mean for future policy discussions.
Voters in the by-election will head to the polls on St Patrick's Day, March 17.Do you have an idea for a story?
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