Health Minister Dr David Clark congratulated New Zealand’s 55,000 nurses on their hard work, commitment and high-calibre leadership in his International Nurses Day message.

His message followed his meeting this week with an NZNO delegation at Parliament– along with Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern – days out from the May 17 Budget, which nurses hope will deliver funding to meet nurses’ calls for safe staffing and better pay.

Clark in a statement said International Nurses Day – held annually on Florence Nightingale’s birthday on May 12 – celebrates and recognises the hard work and contributions nurses make to health sectors all around the world.

“Recognition of nursing leadership in New Zealand progressed further this year with the introduction in January of the Health Practitioners (Replacement of Statutory References to Medical Practitioners) Act, which gives highly qualified Nurse Practitioners and Registered Nurses, among other sector professionals, more abilities when treating patients,” David Clark said.

“Between the Ministry of Health’s Chief Nursing Office and the District Health Boards’ Directors of Nursing, we have an extremely high calibre of leadership and that flows through to a committed and hardworking bunch of nurses throughout the country.

“Nurses are often among the very first health professionals to come into contact with patients.

“I recognise how hard all of our nurses work and realise how important it is for our entire workforce to be acknowledged for their efforts.”

The theme of today’s celebration is ‘Nurses: A Voice to Lead – Health is a Human Right’.

“The theme  is apt,” said Clark, “because Florence [Nightingale] was also a leader in the industry – the founder of modern nursing through her committed and passionate approach to patient care-led nursing.”




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