International Nurses Day 2020 is all about celebrating nurses

Media release

12 May 2020

Now more than ever, there's compelling evidence that ensuring we have a strong nursing workforce leads to better health outcomes for individuals, families, whânau, communities and countries.

Every day, thousands of nurses have been going to work to fight COVID-19, whether that’s to care for patients, or whether that’s behind the scenes preparing hospitals and communities to meet current and future demands.

The Ministry’s Chief Nursing Officer Margareth Broodkoorn says the pandemic response has created a new challenge for all health care professionals, and for nurses they have risen to that challenge and have gone above and beyond. 

“Nurses are working tirelessly to ensure our communities are safe during the pandemic.

“Today the theme is Nursing the World to Health which is a perfect theme for this year. That’s exactly what our nurses are helping the health sector do – nursing our people and our world back to health as we fight COVID-19. 

“COVID-19 has turned the spotlight on the work of all health professionals and highlighted the important work of our nurses, who are often the first point of contact for patients.

“We represent the largest health workforce in New Zealand and that number is growing every year, with almost 58,000 nurses registered with the Nursing Council of New Zealand.

“Not only do nurses touch the lives of thousands of patients every day around New Zealand but also their whânau and friends, so it’s really important to be able to recognise the work they do."

Margareth Broodkoorn says the World Health Organization also designated 2020 as the International Year of the Nurse.

“The work of our nurses has been put to the test this year but I’ve heard so many wonderful, heart warming stories where COVID-19 patients and families and whânau have expressly thanked the nurses who’ve looked after them and put their own lives at risk to ensure the safety of the communities they live and work in.

“I’ve said this many times before, but I will say it again – I’m so proud to be a nurse in New Zealand and I’m so proud of our workforce. The team here at the Ministry and many other nursing leaders around the country want to do our bit to celebrate nurses and so we've put together a short video marking today.

"Kia Kaha, Kia Maia, Kia Manawanui."