Kia ora koutou katoa and happy International Nurses Day to all our nurses across the network.
I hope you can take a snippet of time on Thursday 12 May to celebrate all you do every day as nurses and particularly reflect on the past year and what a great job you have done.
The theme for International Nurses Day 2022 is 'Nurses: A Voice to Lead – Invest in nursing and respect rights to secure global health' which I think is very timely here in Aotearoa. In my opinion it is more than time to start investing more in nursing - both for education and for renumeration.
Many nurses are planning to, or have embarked on, further education and development that offers a wider range of services to patients. I sincerely hope this is recognised by the Minister of Health when looking at the pay equity issue and the primary care nurses MECA. The work you do every day with your communities keeps many people away from hospitals and the relationships and trust you build with your patients is second to none.
We have nurse prescribers and nurse practitioners seeing and treating patients and being primary points of contact for patients who know they will have access to them and appropriate treatment services from them. This all leads to improved patient outcomes and a streamlined service in primary care.
As we celebrate Florence Nightingale’s birthday on 12 May, you should be very proud of being part of a profession that cares and makes a difference every day. Thank you.
I know there are many challenges. As COVID-19 continues to be a feature of our daily life, staffing shortages are biting and workforce challenges are a constant in our daily work lives. As well as supporting nurses to work at the top of their scope, it is critical we also focus on getting student nurses into primary care and giving them the best experience, so they choose primary care as their preferred place of work on graduating. Doing so means we are helping to develop a workforce of the future and continuing to deliver on equity of access and healthy communities. The feedback we get from students is that they really enjoy their primary care placements and see it as a place to work once they qualify. Building on that gives us a strong platform for future recruitment.
We have a way to go on addressing equity of access and equitable outcomes in health, but I know as nurses the work you do every day plays an important part in this and will continue to do so.
From the nursing lead team at Pinnacle, we wish you all a Happy International Nurses Day and thank you all again.
Jan, Jessica, Ngaire, Catherine, Emma and Tracy.