Nurses: a force for change – celebrating International Nurses Day by acknowledging, celebrating and encouraging excellence!

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‘Nurses: a force for change – celebrating International Nurses Day by acknowledging, celebrating and encouraging excellence!

On the evening of 14th May the work of Northland nurses and midwives was celebrated at a moving and inspiring awards ceremony held in the Ratu Room, Manaia Health, Whangarei.

Thirty-four nurses and four midwives from around Northland were commended for their efforts at the second annual ACE (acknowledging, celebrating and encouraging excellence in nursing and midwifery) and Values Awards.

Held in conjunction with International Nurses Day and International Day of the Midwife, which both fell this month, the ACE Awards evening drew 80 attendees.

The awards, which previously focused on Primary Health Care Nurses, were this year extended to include the Northland DHB and are a recognition of nurses and midwives’ achievements incorporating both the ACE Awards and Northland DHB values.

Following a light meal, guests at Manaia House PHO were entertained and inspired by guest speaker Ministry of Health chief nurse Dr Jane O’Malley who spoke about the evolution of nursing care.“Florence Nightingale is remembered perhaps as the lady with the lamp and her strong mythical-like linkage to caring has often been romantically skewed a little too far but, caring for her included a strong focus on discipline, leadership and the importance of placing the person at the centre of care ‘in the best possible situation to guide healing’. This resonates with the current focus on ‘services as close to home as safely as possible”.

“Ms Nightingale would very much approve of the latest iteration of the move within and across the ministries to improve service integration: working together with people and communities as centre to their concerns.  I think the whole notion of services as close to home as safe as possible is one she would applaud. Florence would be proud of you all.”

Awards recipients were then called to the stage to be presented their awards from Dr O’Malley and the Director of Nursing and Midwifery, Margareth Broodkoorn, who acknowledged the special relationships nurses and midwives have in their Northland communities. Primary Health Care Associate Director of Nursing Mary Carthew says the annual celebration, co-hosted by Northland DHB, Manaia Health and Te Tai Tokerau PHOs is now an integral part of supporting Northland nurses and midwives to work together as a team to collectively improve the health and well-being of all Northlanders.

“Nurses and midwives work in teams and are, by nature, quiet achievers who more often than not deflect individual praise. The awards recognise the value we and the community place in these nurses and midwives and the work they do”.

“One of the special aspects of the evening was the celebration of so many of our Maori nurses who work tirelessly for their communities outside their day jobs. The singing of waiata to support the nurses really enhanced the evening. Their stories and the public acknowledgement of the amazing work they do will hopefully inspire more young Maori to become nurses or midwives. Northland would be all the richer if this was an outcome.”