The NZNO is inviting nursing colleagues, managers or the public to nominate a nurse under the age of 31 who has demonstrated a commitment and passion to nursing beyond the everyday for the NZ Young Nurse of the Year award.
The winner of the inaugural NZ Young Nurse of the Year award in 2014 was Plunket nurse Katrina Coleman, whose client group included many new migrant families in Newtown, Wellington. With the help of local Plunket volunteers, she organised Christmas and winter parcels for families in need and set up a database to link mothers from the same culture for social support.
She was followed in 2015 by Gemma Hutton, a rural nurse specialist based in Franz Joseph who was the sole nurse dedicated to serving the isolated South Westland region. Being on call 24 hours a day meant she has to be ready to for “whatever lands on her doorstep”, including being called out to treat people injured in car accidents, glacier incidents or flown in from offshore fishing boats. She had also set up an exercise and healthy lifestyle group for local residents and a mother and babies group. Still based in South Westland, Gemma recently became a board member of the New Zealand Rural General Practice Network.
In 2016 there were joint winners. Rosita Richards was a passionate convert to rural outreach nursing after gaining a new graduate place in a kaupapa Māori health provider despite as a student being determined to work in acute care. The young mother of three, who had her first child at 16, said she had decided to study nursing to do something for herself and make her children proud. She advocated for nurses to nominate other young nurses as she had been surprised and humbled just to be nominated by her preceptor, let alone be a joint winner.
Fellow joint winner in 2016 was Dr Jed Montayre, a Philippines-trained nurse and lecturer at AUT, who has a passion for teaching and supporting the retention of all nurses in the country, including fellow internationally qualified nurses (IQN). He said receiving the award was sending a message that his and his fellow IQNs’ contribution to nursing in New Zealand was valued.
Last year’s winner was young nurse practitioner Jess Tiplady – at the time one of only four NPs under 35 and the youngest Māori nurse to have achieved NP status in New Zealand. To become an NP by age 29, Tiplady had studied every year but one since first enrolling in nursing school. With a passion for primary health care, she had worked for Manurewa’s Greenstone Family Clinic since graduating and had soon after set up a nurse-led clinic for eczema and then asthma, with an annual pre-winter “warrant of fitness’ clinic helping to halve its hospitalisation rates for children with asthma.
The purpose of the annual NZ Young Nurse of the Year awards is to recognise and celebrate exemplary practice by young nurses, encourage young nurses to demonstrate their commitment to the nursing profession, and provide an incentive for them to stay nursing in New Zealand.
Nominators are requested to show how the nurse has demonstrated their commitment and passion for nursing, which may include how the nurse has:
- shown compassion or courage beyond what is expected in their role
- improved care or health outcomes for their patients through their commitment to care, leadership, research or quality
- overcome major challenges to deliver exceptional care.
Nominees may be registered or enrolled nurses, or new graduates. They do not have to be in paid nursing work, must be under the age of 31 as at December 31 2018, must be resident in New Zealand, and must be a current financial member of NZNO.
The closing date for nominations is July 14 2018. Click here for more information and a nomination form.