International 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 nurses.org.nz.
I hope you enjoy reading each other’s inspiring stories, as we make a difference in healthcare together.
Yours in nursing solidarity
New Zealand Nurses Organisation