Patients will benefit from streamlined and updated legislation that governs the nursing profession. A new Registered Nurses Act, introduced today, May 8, by Health Minister Chris d’Entremont, will better define the scope of practice and how nurses work with other health professionals. The act will eliminate the barriers facing nurse practitioners, while following national standards. This will enable them to work in collaboration with other health-care professionals, allowing them to make a diagnosis, order tests and prescribe medications. A second piece of legislation, the Licensed Practical Nurses Act, clarifies the definition of their scope of practice. This allows them to work more independently with their patients. “The government is pleased to support nurses and their colleges. These updated acts will make it easier for nurses to perform their jobs while providing safe, competent and ethical care,” Mr. d’Entremont said today on the launch of National Nursing Week (May 8-15). “The Department of Health is able to introduce updated legislation because of the collaborative effort and hard work of both the regulatory bodies and nurses of Nova Scotia.” The College of Registered Nurses of Nova Scotia and the College of Licensed Practical Nurses of Nova Scotia support the need for these new updated acts. The legislation was created after consultations with groups like Doctors Nova Scotia, nurses’ unions, the College of Physicians and Surgeons, the College of Pharmacies and the Pharmacy Association of Nova Scotia. The acts also include more modern complaints and discipline processes that allow the colleges to deal with concerns from the public about nurses more efficiently and effectively. “We are delighted that the government is introducing the new RN Act today,” said Linda Hamilton, executive director of the College Registered Nurses of Nova Scotia. “In light of the pressures on today’s health-care system, clarifying the scope of practice of registered nurses and increasing public access to the health-care services they provide can only be a good thing.” Ann Mann, executive director of the College of Licensed Practical Nurses of Nova Scotia, is also pleased to see the introduction of the bills. “The College of Licensed Practical Nurses of Nova Scotia, like many other health-care organizations, is responding to the many challenges facing health care by supporting legislation that clarifies the current role and responsibilities of licensed practical nurses.” About 9,526 registered nurses are licensed by the College of Registered Nurses of Nova Scotia and 3,058 licensed practical nurses are licensed by the College of Licensed Practical Nurses of Nova Scotia. Nursing is the latest health profession to update its legislation in recent years. Other groups include psychologists, dentists, chiropractors and optometrists and opticians.
According to the UN World Economic Situation and Prospects Update as of mid-2015 report, launched earlier this week, growth of world gross domestic product (GDP) will improve slightly from 2.6 per cent in 2014 to 2.8 per cent in 2015, which is 0.3 percentage points lower than the forecast contained in the January version of the report, with the downward revision reflecting a deterioration in growth prospects of economies in transition and several large developing countries, especially in South America.“The current world economic situation is characterised by five ‘lows’: low growth, low trade flows, low inflation, low investment, and low interest rates, combined with two ‘highs’: high equity prices, and high debt levels,” said Pingfan Hong, Director of the Development Policy and Analysis Division of the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA).Growth divergence between the various regions will likely widen this year, according to the report, which attributes it in part to differing impacts from recent drops in the price of oil and other commodities.In the short-term, growth prospects for most commodity-exporting economies have been downgraded, while commodity-importers have tended to benefit from the lower prices in the form of reduced inflationary, fiscal and balance-of-payment pressures.There are significant downside risks related to the impact of the upcoming monetary policy normalization in the United States, ongoing uncertainties in the Euro area and potential spillover from geopolitical conflicts and persistent vulnerabilities in emerging economies.The risk factors are not only interconnected but could be mutually reinforcing and could possibly lead to weaker than expected expansion of the global economy.The overall subdued performance of the world economy since the global financial crisis has raised concerns of a “new normal” of lower growth. The broad-based weakness in investment worldwide not only holds back current growth, but also reduces potential growth in the future.“It is somewhat concerning that, despite highly accommodative monetary policies and historically low global interest rates, real investment has been weak in many parts of the world since the global financial crisis,” said Ingo Pitterle, the Development Policy and Analysis Division team leader for the report.