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Celebrating International Nurses Day.

FLORENCE NIGHTINGALE made an appearance at Auckland's Otara Market last month, teaching the importance of hand washing.

"Florence would have taught this lesson around a pitcher of water," said Manukau Institute of Technology nursing lecturer Grace Benson, who often dons her "Florence outfit" to teach history to her students. "My lesson was based around hand gel pumps. Florence would have approved, as she supported anything that was evidence-based."

Benson was part of an NZNO-organised health and wellness promotion, held on May 11 to mark International Nurses Day (IND). Along with hand hygiene lessons, there were free blood pressure, weight and body mass index checks, continence advice and smoking cessation support, with nurses from local district health boards (DHBs), MercyAscot Hospital and Pacific services taking part.

Benson also appeared as Florence Nightingale at IND celebrations at Auckland DHB, where awards were given to more than 80 nurses for their academic achievements. Clinical nurse specialist Briar McLeod won the annual Trophy of Tradition. Benson's uniform is an exact replica of one at St Thomas' Hospital in London. She bought the wig in Edinburgh and the lantern, a replica of one Nightingale had in Scutari Hospital during the Crimean War, from the Florence Nightingale Museum in London.

The more Benson has learnt about Nightingale, the more she admires her groundbreaking compassion and commitment to patient care. "Her philosophy was one of holistic health and treating patients with the dignity and kindness which should be given to all human beings."

A screening of the NZNO DVD Harmless nursing chat or alienating attitudes? featured at the Top of the South Regional Council IND celebrations in Blenheim.

The screening and workshop was facilitated by NZNO professional nursing adviser Suzanne Rolls. As well as earning participants two hours' professional development, the event stimulated a lot of thought-provoking discussion.

"Everyone there agreed the DVD should be taken into workplaces and shown to all nurses at every opportunity, especially on orientation days. The DVD could be used in any organisation where understanding professional boundaries is important," said outgoing regional council chair Eleanor Cole.

MidCentral IND awards

MidCentral DHB marked IND with its biennial nursing awards ceremony. This year's supreme award--the directors of nursing pre-eminent prize--was awarded to former nurse coordinator of the professional development and recognition programme (PDRP), Anne Russell. Russell retired in February and was awarded for her commitment to supporting nurses from all areas of clinical practice to join the programme.

In the late 1990s, Russell was key to developing the forerunner of the PDRP, the clinical career pathway. The programme became known as PDRP in 2003.

Russell served on NZNO's board of directors from 1995-99, and as vice president for the last two years. She was also a member of the nursing and midwifery advisory committee. Her service to NZNO was marked at last month's NZNO central region convention.

Receiving the supreme award was a complete surprise, Russell said. "I came along because the event was also a farewell to former director of nursing Sue Wood. I felt quite overcome to see my name on the programme."

The MidCentral PDRP became the first programme to be accredited by the Nursing Council. Sixty-one per cent of MidCentral staff are now on the voluntary programme, a huge achievement, Russell said.

Five other senior DHB nurses were acknowledged as making a significant difference, along with 15 other winners selected by their peers.
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Title Annotation:news & events
Publication:Kai Tiaki: Nursing New Zealand
Geographic Code:8NEWZ
Date:Jun 1, 2013
Words:563
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