An International Nurses Day message from NZNO chief executive, Memo Musa.
On Thursday we celebrate International Nurses Day, Florence Nightingale’s birthday, a very special day for our profession. It seems to come around quickly, which I think is an indication of the busy lives and careers nurses’ juggle. Nice that it does, too – because nurses are worth celebrating often!
After listening to presentations about some of you work at regional conventions around the country recently, I concluded that every day we should celebrate international nurses day, as nurses are involved every hour of the day in caring for someone in our health system.
Nurses are the largest profession in the health system, and without you the health outcomes for people receiving care and treatment in the health system would not be improving as they are.
Nurses, we couldn’t do what we do, without you. Thank you.
I often reflect that nurses hold the world together. We are in every community, culture and society the world over. Nurses are the woman and men who see health holistically and are able to innovate and advocate for whole person, whole whānau and whole population health.
The theme for this year’s International Nurses Day is Nurses: A Force for Change: Improving health systems’ resilience and here at NZNO we are certainly taking that challenge on board.
NZNO members are at every level advocating for a resilient New Zealand health system where everyone can access the healthcare they need, where and when they need it.
Our policy advisers and researchers are providing government and other decision makers with the evidence needed to make good and sustainable decisions.
NZNO members like you are making the difference to healthcare in your workplaces and communities and beyond.
Along with the World Health Organisation and the International Council of Nurses, NZNO believes that action on the social determinants of health should be a core part of nurses’ business. Not only does it improve clinical outcomes, and saves money but taking action to reduce health inequalities is a matter of equity and social justice.
“Every health professional has the potential to act as a powerful advocate for individuals, communities, the health workforce and the general population, since many of the factors that affect health lie outside the health sector, in early years’ experience, education, working life, income and living and environmental conditions health professional may need to use their positions both as experts in health and as trusted respected professional to encourage or instigate change in other areas.” Institute of Health Equity (2013), p.5
Nurses, people in the health system can’t reach their goals without you, and we can’t reach our goals without you too.
Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa.
Yours in nursing solidarity
New Zealand Nurses Organisation