NZNO's Blog

To the awesome nurse with the pink hair


Kai Tiaki Nursing NZLouisa Davies is a registered nurses, NZNO member and mum.  She is proud to stand up for her colleagues.

Louisa says she wrote this because she had a bit much time on her hands and was feeling really worked up about the situation. Personally, I doubt whether people who are mums, RNs and advocates for fairness ever have “a bit much time on their hands” but I’m thankful Louisa found the time to pen this lovely note to the “awesome nurse with the pink hair”! 

To the awesome nurse with the pink hair! You don’t know me, and I don’t know you, but I would just like to take the time to say, “I’m sorry”.

I’m sorry that you have been judged and bullied, I’m sorry that one of the proudest moments of your nursing career, a cover page of our national nursing magazine, has been stripped down by your peers. I’m sorry that your peers have covered their bullying, by focusing their tirade against NZNO, for putting you on their cover, as though this reduces their bullying on you. I sincerely hope that you have broad enough shoulders to brush off these people who feel the need so strongly to comment about you, and realise that they are probably suffering from tall poppy syndrome.

We used to call each other “sister”, (sorry male fraternity) we are predominantly a female workforce, we should not be shooting each other down, but we should be lifting each other up, and celebrating each other’s achievements.

I imagine this nurse probably works pretty hard, probably has been covered in human excrement, just like the rest of us. Probably has spent overtime filling in her documentation, just like the rest of us.

She could probably teach many of us a thing or a thousand about critical care nursing, and she still wouldn’t have taught us all that she knows. The way she has been treated is horrible. She deserves much better than that, and all of those who have been opinionated enough to comment about it should be ashamed. Would you say this to her face?? If not, it is trolling. If you would say it to her face, then you truly are a bully.

Hair colour, piercing, tattoos… None of these make us less than amazing nurses, they do not affect our abilities to care for our patients, their families and our colleagues. They make us real humans, with life outside of the hospital, and our own creative spirits shining through just a little bit.

Be proud nurse Pinky!!! You look beautiful, you look capable and skilled as the wonderful nurse that you are. Frame that cover, and remind yourself every day that you are way better than the people who are pulling you down. Keep up the hard work Sister.


32 thoughts on “To the awesome nurse with the pink hair

  1. Well said, Louisa. Not only did the bullying letters show us the nastier side of nursing, but also reminded us that there are still many people out there, including nurses, who have Neanderthal ideas regarding nurses and women. Lois rocks. Her hair rocks. And I’m very happy with my newly purple hair.

  2. Thank you Louisa for this great article in support of the “awesome nurse with the pink hair” on behalf of myself and others. No matter if you have coloured hair, tattoos and wear bright coloured footwear, the nursing care that you provide to your patients is what the patient remembers the most

  3. Proudly spoken from the heart!! thank you for being the voice for those who can’t or won’t for the fear of being bullied themselves!!! This type of comradery touched my heart and brought a tear to my eye. Thank you Louisa!!

  4. Whole heartedly agree with all the positive supportive comments for the fab nurse with pink hair 😃

  5. Well said Louisa. I have met this ‘nurse with pink hair (and many other fabulous colours) on numerous occasions in a professional capacity. She is just fantastic with her fellow colleagues, patients in her care and their families. She has such a massive mountain of knowledge and is always so professional but along with this she is kind, caring, approachable and non judgemental putting everyone who has the pleasure of meeting her at their ease. If I or any of my family were ever to need critical care I would feel very safe and secure in knowing she was going to be looking after them.
    Lois you rock!

  6. I am horrified to thnk that Lois got what sound like spiteful comments. She rocks. As a very scared junior doctor in ICU she always had my back never made me feel I knew nothing (which actually was the case!) and supported me when I was being bullied by a senior member of medical staff. I would be ecstatic if Lois was my ICU nurse if I was ever in the unfortunate position of needing one.

  7. Here here. I love what u have said. Lets celebrate her uniqueness. Having pink hair has no effect on her nursing abilities. I take my hat off to her for having the courage to be different. Rock on Sister!

  8. “The pink hair is only the tip of the awesomeness iceberg that is our LoLo! She is one of the most bad-ass brilliant ICU nurses, the most badged flight nurse and sparkliest ray of sunshine to have on your shift. I have no idea what people have been saying but hopefully it’s like water off a duck’s back, because all who actually know her, think she’s fab”. – Consultant Anaesthetist / Intensivist

  9. Absolutely love the pink hair, she totally looks like a ray of sunshine, keep on rocking that look 🙂

  10. Pink hair is fantastic Must be really good for relatives to see someone as wonderful as you. I remember a collegue in ICU at Middlemore hospital in the 1970s with a bright florescent green stripe in her hair she was also one of the best nurses I have worked with. I am proud to have you as a collegue

  11. I love the pink hair, I currently have blue and my residents just love to see what colour I come in with next. I even have 5 pairs of bright coloured shoes to swap around depending on my mood. The colour of our hair, shoes, or even skin has nothing to do with our caring nature at all. In fact a lot of people enjoy it as it gives them the unexpected in their day.

  12. I have just had the pleasure of meeting a pink haired, tattooed nurse in Nepal who has given up her entire years holiday to go & help any way she can after the earthquake. Looks don’t matter, it’s your skills & compassion that do.

  13. Well said all you wonderful non judgemental nursing/medical staff. Yes the people who wrote those nasty comments should be ashamed of themselves,where is our autonomy as nurses. To the Nurse that is on the front page,Kia kaha and continue to do the nursing profession proud. You rock and although I do not know you,your hair obviously reflects your shiny personality and I thank you for being you. Stand proud and continue the fabulous job you do each day. To the judgemental nurses who think it’s their right to nit pick their collegues, I hope you have stood back and realise your comments are nothing but a slap on your own faces, your thoughts are cruel and I hope to hell you are not like that towards yours patients or the families.

  14. Well said , why do we feel the need to put our “sisters” down , your hair colour does not represent how you nurse and those who think it does well it just shows how bloody narrow minded they are. I remember at primary school being teased for being a redhead, copper top, carrot bottom, blood nut and now as I say to my 4 redhead children “gingas” are the fashion, there are many famous redheads and a number of people who spend a fortune to be one”. To the nurse with the pink hair you are a breath of fresh air in a majority of open minded ,talented nurses ignore the minority of small minded nurses time a few of them retired or changed careers if hair colour is the only thing they took from that kai taki issue they sure do seem to be missing the point.

  15. Yay for self expression, yay for individuality, yay for caring skills. One of our senior doctors in the ED recently overheard me talking about getting a pay reduction when my portfolio was overdue as I had been unwell and did not get an extension I applied for. He said “You guys are good at nurse eat nurse. Doctors would not do that”. So hey and yay lets support each other. She is doing no harm.

  16. I don’t remember anything about hair colour in my nursing competencies. Nor is it mentioned in the CCDHB uniform code, or the HPCA act. With so many issues we nurses have to address, and someone is concerned we don’t ‘look professional’. I remember they laid into Nandor Tanczos for wearing dreds in Parliament. Go for it Lois, do your hair however you like. Maybe some day we will be able to wear a uniform that reflects our individuality also.

  17. Good on you Louisa for writing down what many of us obviously thought. I am very weary of toxic behaviour and comments in the work place, not to mention being on the receiving end of it as well. Not so long ago, I drew a line in the sand – zero tolerance to bullying. It is worth making a stand. Good for all those who call it what it is and push for a positive working environment.

  18. We should be celebrating what a fantastic nurse, teacher, comrade, carer that Lois is. What about the hair! it’s the professionalism and skill that is shown on the cover of the Kai tiaki. I have also met her in a professional capacity and what yo don’t see is the years of skill , dedication and every thing that is the art of a GREAT nurse. Keep up the excellent work you do, often above and beyond.
    This is also a male point of view.

  19. Nurse with the pink hair was marvellous she nursed my son who died aged 23 of cancer she is the most caring nurse in icu

  20. Well written, just one question, do the nurses who judged ‘Pinky’ for looking a little different also judge their patients!!! Shame on them!

  21. I thought nursing was about how we cared for our fellow humans , not the colour of our hair, skin , eyes ??
    Liz , please send your letter to the Journal for more coverage .

  22. Wow. I’m astounded to hear that bullying comments were made about this nurse because of her appearance. How horrible. I hope you’re all ashamed of yourselves for behaving in such a way. Considering our profession I’m naively shocked.

  23. I couldn’t care less either way but to call folk bullies for expressing their opinion is bullying in itself. Jeez anyone want to focus on the watch?Infection control?Hair dangling down ? I think the NZNO has excelled itself in trying to justify this by collating vast pro responses.No body questioned her ability…..

  24. Well done Louisa and ditto to everything you said. We are meant to be compassionate professionals who are meant to keep our own prejudices to ourselves including our colleagues. The nursing focus should always be patient centered not about a nurse having pink hair!

  25. I have a great idea……………. let’s get together all the many other professionals who go to work with bright pink hair ………..lawyers,Doctors,soldiers,policemen and women,surgeons,anaesthetists, teachers and principals etc etc and take a nice errrr “big” photo.Then let’s encourage our kids to dye their hair pink for school too.Obviously everyone’s human rights are being in “fringed”here 😉

  26. I agree totally- well put. Bullying because of the colour of your hair, in my mind is akin to bullying because of the colour of your skin i.e. racism. Like skin colour, hair colour does not affect our skill set. We in aged care have nurses and caregivers with hair every colour of the rainbow – and they all nurse with their hearts. Keep going Louise, keep the hair, the colour of your choice.

  27. Well done Louisa for just being you and being fantastic nurse that you are. I don’t remember it is stated anywhere in the Constitution or principals and practices about what color hair, skin or personal disability that one might have. Just be encouraged continue enjoying being professional with each patient and give them the 100% they deserve. Val O’Gorman October 16th, 9.50am

  28. These thoughts emanated from an email I wrote to Lois a few years ago, as we exchanged Christmas greetings & holiday plans for the fast approaching festive season.


    This Christmas time as we celebrate Christ’s birth, the seriously ill, smashed up and beaten up are relentlessly at your door. And the grateful dead for whom you worked so hard to pull through – but they flew – & are free – now.

    And so to Christmas day soon after, reflecting on our conversation as relaxing
    I dine with family, sirens scream again as emergency vehicles rush along the narrow sea-front highway – to yet another incident of source unknown.

    Yet always, always, expert RNs are on duty in ICU ready to care for those they’ve never seen before & may never see again when they leave.
    Whatever shape of “leaving” is in store.



    Expert assessment skills, teacher, empathy & respect, collegial supporter & mentor, safety, knowledge & non-judgmental care, are all hallmarks of Lois’ practice. GO LOIS!

  29. I was appalled at the bullying pettiness & plain ridiculousness of the comments in regards to this article. I have been nursing for over 15 yrs and look at the students coming through and pitty them as this is the type of environment they are entering into. Why was a person’s appearance judged so harshly by COLLEAGUES, it has no reflection on her ability. I have colored hair & tattoos and this does not affect my nursing abilities. To the haters find something else to do or address your own issues & leave the rest of us alone. Professional issues should be bought up in a professional setting and actually be proper issues.


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