NZNO's Blog

Leave a comment

Nurses, a force for change

We offer a warm thank you to talented NZNO member, Judy Hitchcock, for sending us this International Nurses Day poem.

Nurses: a force for change, improving health systems’ resilience


With Mother’s day remembered and now “Nurses week” ahead

There’s material citing ‘resilience’ that really should be read.

The ICN has nailed it, no more elephant in the room,

We need to look at what we do, how and why and we must do it soon.

Changing trends demands resilience but now here comes the spin:

Embracing less as being more, it’s the accountants who really win

With wages and employment frozen and hours cut to six

The expectation is still to find that perfect skill based mix

Dollars saved on paper, it’s easy to count the cost

Harder to quantify as ‘savings’ the quality that’s been lost.

Resilient in facing change with less; of course we will do more,

We give the best we can with what we have; only the minimum is poor,

There’s making it the ‘buzz-word’ endorsing our ability to cope,

But nurses are more than just resilient, for nurses provide the hope,

Whilst in the darkest hours, filled with misery and despair,

It’s nurses who provide the light, using evidence based care,

As Florence did in days gone by, “The lady with the lamp” as she was known,

Nurses care for those in desperate need and where that Red Cross is flown,

Targeted for their commitment, it’s not just resilient they must be.

But commended for their unwavering courage and acts of bravery,

Florence showed indomitable resilience, tending those injured in the war.

And still the founder of our profession inspires us to do much more:

“Unless we are making progress in our nursing every year, every month, every week,
Take my word for it, we are going back”

You can almost hear her speak.

Thoughts become our actions and speak louder than the spoken word.

Resilience and determination will ensure our voices will be heard.

Nurses are a force for change, of that there is no doubt,

Resilient and yet still caring: it’s what nursing is all about.


Leave a comment

International Nurses Day 2016

IND resources

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
Memo Musa
Chief executive
New Zealand Nurses Organisation





Leave a comment

Nurses – making the difference in healthcare

IND resources_Page_2International Nurses Day is my favourite day in the nursing calendar. May 12th is Florence Nightingale’s birthday, and the day on which we celebrate the importance of nurses around the world. It’s a day to celebrate our achievements, give each other a pat on the back and reflect on our proud history/herstory and look forward to our future with hope and determination.

Thank you for your work, thank you for your tenacity, thank you for your care, thank you for your grit and determination. Together we can change the world.

The theme for International Nurses Day this year is ‘Nurses: A Force for Change: Care Effective, Cost Effective’. The theme could not be more timely. The Government’s 2015 Budget is on the 21st of May and NZNO members around the country are considering whether to accept the DHBs’ collective agreement offer or not.

Countries around the world are facing similarly constrained health budgets following the global financial crisis, at the same time as rising healthcare needs with aging and increasingly sick populations. This has resulted in both a global shortage of nurses, and at the same time, higher nurse unemployment.

While it is nice to know that some of the problems seen in New Zealand are not unique, International Council of Nurses (ICN) research shows that when nurses are supported to work creatively, innovatively and to their limits of their scope – there are economic benefits.

The ICN says “Evidence shows that nursing is a cost effective yet often undervalued and underutilised health care resource”.

We know you work incredibly hard every day, and the advice from ICN is that the general public and policy makers need to see the impact of nursing work so that it is in the forefront of their minds. This year they call for nurses’ engagement in policy setting and transforming healthcare systems to be safer, more efficient and more effective in ways that only nurses can see.

We’re taking up their advice too, which is why we are very excited to announce the launch of our new website sharing nurses and their patient’s own stories about how nursing makes the difference in healthcare. You can add your story to the collection right now at

I hope you enjoy reading each other’s inspiring stories, as we make a difference in healthcare together.

Yours in nursing solidarity

Memo Musa
Chief executive
New Zealand Nurses Organisation