Filipino nursing lecturer honoured

8 September 2016

Finding new graduates jobs and retaining overseas-trained nurses is a workforce dilemma that joint winner of the Young Nurse of the Year award Dr Jed Montayre can see from both perspectives.

The Philippines trained nurse, who is a lecturer at AUT's nursing school, was this week announced the joint winner of the New Zealand Nurses Organisation award – a shared trophy and $2000 each – with long-term conditions nurse Rosita Richards.

Montayre said receiving the award gave himself and his fellow IQNs (internationally qualified nurses) in New Zealand a sense that their work was valued.  "It recognises our contribution to nursing in New Zealand. It sends a message to all IQNs out there that we are valued and hopefully they will remain nursing in New Zealand."

The 30-year-old who came to New Zealand in 2011 said he was aware that there were tensions over recruiting more IQNs into the country because of concerns about locally trained new graduates not getting jobs. 

"Being a nursing lecturer myself – training the future generation of nurses of this country – I believe that we need to do more and better to retain all nurses currently in the country."

With international shortages of nurses looming in the future he said every developed country would be looking for nurses and he wondered what New Zealand's standing would be in the international nursing job market when that time came. 

"I think we need to do more about local nurse retention and getting our new graduates jobs but at the same time giving more value and recognition to IQNs contribution to the profession otherwise they will leave." Montayre added locally trained nurses would also go offshore for work 

The young award winner graduated with his nursing degree aged just 19 (after accelerating through the secondary school system) and following around two years working as an acute care nurse began teaching at a nursing school in the Philippines as well as gaining his masters degree.  "Teaching has been my passion ever since – I've been teaching since my 21st birthday."

After talking to some friends already in New Zealand he came here in 2011 and following a CAP course at Otago Polytechnic re-started his nursing career by first working in residential aged care in Invercargill and then on a medical ward in Southland Hospital before gaining a teaching position at SIT (Southern Institute of Technology) in 2012.  In 2015 he gained his PhD and took up his current position at AUT (Auckland University of Technology) where he is a lecturer in both the undergraduate and postgraduate nursing programmes.  He is also chair of the research committee of the Filipino Nurses Association in New Zealand (FNANZ).

NZNO’s President Grant Brookes said the calibre of this year’s joint Young Nurse of the Year winners proved the future of nursing was in good hands. "They are outstanding role models, passionate about their profession and committed to improving the health of New Zealanders."

Runner-up in this year’s award is Emily Rushton, a health educator and climate change campaigner, based in Auckland.


Pareake O'Brien (won Te Rūnanga o Aotearoa New Zealand Nurses Organisation's Te Akenehi Hei Award)

Joy Miller (for services to Nursing/Midwifery)

Miller, trained as a nurse in 1967 and has undertaken humanitarian work for World Vision for 47 years in disaster areas all over the world including refugee camps in Cambodia in the 1980s, treating survivors of the 1998 Papua New Guinea tsunami, TB programmes in Papua New Guinea and post-disaster work in the Solomon Islands in 2007. "Her volunteer work has allowed her to hone her resourcefulness and she had learned to set up suction apparatus in areas without power, splint limbs using wood, metal, newspaper, old pieces of clothing and more," said her award citation.

Jacob Panikkamannil (for services to NZNO)

Panikkamannil is a Starship Theatre nurse who immigrated to New Zealand in 2000 and helped organize a migrant nurses conference in 2013 and a larger repeat conference this year.

Eseta Finau  (for services to NZNO)

Finau, a former NZNO Pacific Section chair and president of the Tongan Nurses Association, was recognised for her work with the section, student nurses and NZNO

College of Primary Health Care Nurse members Karen Smith and Marilyn Rosewarne plus Enrolled Nurse section member Deborah Hawkey were also recognised for their work for NZNO and their respective college and sections.

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