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Celebrating International Nursing Day 2023

On International Nurses Day GPNZ is proud to celebrate the nursing profession and to particularly acknowledge the work of primary care nurses in Aotearoa.

GPNZ Executive member and ProCare Director Nursing Gabrielle Lord said: “Our primary care nursing workforce is integral to achieving the vision set out in the Pae Ora health reforms, delivering care in our communities, and providing support to our most vulnerable populations. We hope general practices can take a moment and celebrate the work of their nurses today in their own way.”

Respect, invest, protect and value are major themes of the global campaign this year, which resonates in Aotearoa where a significant pay gap exists between hospital staff and their primary care colleagues.

GPNZ has been in active communication with the Minister of Health over the past six months, urging for more recognition on the value of primary care nursing. This has been met with a positive response from Hon Dr Ayesha Verrall, with assurances she understands the key role that primary health care nurses play in ensuring quality and sustainability of the sector and their important contribution is valued. Our advocacy with the Minister remains ongoing.

“It is critical to be able to recruit, retain and develop more primary care nurses to continue delivering care and support to our communities,” Gabrielle says.

“This will not just limit the burden of illness on whānau and our hospitals but allow us to go further to promote wellness and proactive health. We can achieve this if Government funding is made available to ensure that general practice nursing is an attractive and valued career choice.”

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GPNZ is proud to have a strong and active nurse leads rōpu which advocates and supports information sharing on issues such as models of care, education, career pathways, whanau-centric care, outreach, long-term conditions management, legislative barriers to change, workforce issues and more.

Rhoena Davis, director of nursing at Mahitahi Hauora PHO and a member of the GPNZ nurse lead rōpu, says International Nurses Day is an opportunity for everyone to thank the nursing community for their mahi and the difference nurses make every day to thousands of patients and their whānau.

“The profession of nursing in Aotearoa began in 1883 with the first nurses formally trained in a hospital system. As nursing pioneers, we led the world in our move to a state examination and registration system in 1901. Over many years we have witnessed and celebrated nursing as a diverse profession that offers many opportunities, and we know there is more to come.”

“We hope to soon hear a successful outcome from the initiative to reduce pay disparities between hospital nurses and nurses working in primary care, as well as more investment in development opportunities to help encourage more people to choose the diverse and rewarding careers that is primary care nursing.”

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