The International Council of Nurses' theme for this year's International Nurses Day is 'Nurses: A Voice to Lead – A Vision for Future Healthcare'.
According to Northland DHB Chief Nurse and Midwifery Officer Maree Sheard, the future is always dependent upon the past, and nursing has been shaped by the experiences of those who came before us and the context in which care has been delivered in different times.
Maree noted that this past year had been enormously challenging for nurses worldwide, and while New Zealand has largely escaped the ravages that have overwhelmed many countries' health systems, it does not mean that New Zealand nurses have not been affected."Northland nurses expended enormous effort planning for the expected effects of the pandemic at a time when our population was already drawing heavily upon our resources.
The pandemic meant not only long hours preparing for the predicted waves of seriously ill patients. It also caused massive stress for our staff to see in the media foreign health professionals struggling to deal with vast numbers of patients and getting reports of COVID-related sickness and death amongst family and friends living overseas.
"Yet amongst all the work and worry, Northland nurses carried on supporting one another and adapting with agility to the changing situation while providing high-quality care to those who needed their attention."
Since Maree began her role in December 2020, she said she had been impressed with our nurses' calm and professional manner, "Your resilience, your can-do attitude and your sense of humour have been an inspiration. I want to take this opportunity on International Nurses Day to thank you for your compassion, energy, and optimism. It's a pleasure to be part of your team."