Nurse shortages, not roles, must top agenda

The debate on extending nurses’ prescribing and diagnostic roles is “distracting” from the desperate need for bedside nursing, warns the former chair of the National Health and Hospitals Reform Commission.

Speaking at the AMA conference last month, Dr Christine Bennett said: “The angst around extending the scope of practice has distracted from this incredibly critical issue about nursing workforce and hands-on care … You don’t have to become a diagnostician or a prescriber to have made it in nursing.”

Dr Bennett said she was not questioning the