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'Look after us so we can look after you'- NZ Nurses speak out on Facebook over 'failing health system'

A speak-out Facebook page for nurses to share stories about the "failing" health care system has reached over 12,000 members in the short course of a week.

The public Facebook group  'New Zealand, please hear our voice' was started just last Saturday evening by an enrolled nurse and a new graduate to allow New Zealand's nurses to anonymously share their stories.

'Nurse Florence' acts as the page's administrator, while nurses are fighting for safer staffing, wards and adequate salary to reflect the care they provide.

"We are struggling, we are broken and we as Nurses are hurt. We need your support."

Voting over whether to accept a revised offer from the 20 District Health Boards (DHBs) is currently happening all over the country and the proposed deal will be decided by March 23.

The deal, which will affect about 27,000 nurses, midwives and health care assistants, includes a pay increase of 2 per cent a year, but shortens the length of the contract, increases the lump sum payment, brings forward the date for any pay equity settlement to 2019 and tightens the safe staffing requirements.

New graduates, registered and veteran nurses alike have taken to the Facebook page to vent and to offer support to the fellow caregivers.

One graduate who, having only been in the industry for three years, joked about how she would die of a stress-induced heart attack long before reaching the milestone of 30 years as a nurse.

"How is it that we, as nurses and midwives and health care assistants, have given so much, and yet receive so little in return?"  

A nurse of six years, who described herself as a "trying to stay afloat mother" shared her frustration, saying that the proposed deal was a "slap in the face".

"I’d be better off staying on the benefit at least my kids would see me and I wouldn't have this anxiety I feel every time I drive into work!!!"

"Look after us, so we can look after you," said one nurse whose sole concern was the under staffing happening in their hospital.

One Facebook post shared how nurses hate industrial action because of the grief it can cause but these concerns were quickly rebutted as a misguided fear.

"It is a time for Action over apathy. Lets stand together and show New Zealand that we DEMAND more."

A Facebook page about the abuse, long hours and low pay nurses say they face has exploded in popularity. Source: 1 NEWS