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International Nurses Day: Valued, respected professionals

12 May 2015

The Queensland Mental Health Commissioner today congratulated nurses for again being recognised as the most ethical and honest profession.

The Commissioner, Dr Lesley van Schoubroeck, paid particular tribute on International Nurses’ Day [12 May] to staff working in mental health and drug and alcohol services.

“It certainly comes as no surprise that the vast majority of Australians rate nurses as the most ethical and honest profession,” Dr van Schoubroeck said.

“Nurses are carers, advocates and educators and a valued part of the health and mental health system. It goes without saying that our nurses play a big part in improving mental health and wellbeing.”

According to the Roy Morgan Image of Professions Survey 2015 (released 28 April), nurses are still easily the most highly regarded profession, ahead of doctors, pharmacists and school teachers.

The survey found that 92% — up 1% to its highest level since 2003 — of Australians aged 14+ rated nurses as the most ethical and honest profession. Nurses have topped the annual survey for the past 21 years.

The Queensland Mental Health Commission has called for at least 10% of planned health improvements by the Queensland Government to be directed to the mental health, drug and alcohol sector, including 40 of 400 planned additional nurses.

“Increasing the nursing workforce is most welcome,” Dr van Schoubroeck said. “The issue is not just about numbers, it is essential that nurses employed in the mental health sector have specialist qualifications in mental health nursing.

“This education needs to include training shaped and delivered by people with a lived experience of mental illness and drug and alcohol issues — something the Commission is currently working with the Mental Health and Drug Advisory Council to help achieve.

“International Nurses’ Day is an opportunity to thank our skilled nurses for their contribution to improving the mental health and wellbeing of all Queenslanders

“The Commission looks forward to continuing to work closely with nurses through the implementation of positive reform to the system,” Dr van Schoubroeck said.