International Nurses Day (IND) is celebrated around the world on May 12, the anniversary of Florence Nightingale's birth.
The International Council of Nurses commemorates this important day each year and in the Cook Islands the achievements of island nurses are recognised and honoured.
The Cook Islands Nurses Association would like to congratulate the nine locally-trained nurses who successfully completed a Bachelor of Nursing degree. They are Teei Maeva, Clemency Goldie, Rangi Tairi, Mere Kata, Philo Henry, Peta Ngari, Ngakiri Teaea, Kura Ioane and Joyce Matamaki.
The association would also like to acknowledge nurses Peta Ngari, Philo Henry, Poko Matapo, Clemency Goldie, Mahina Tairi, Neti Tamarua and Elizabeth Iro for attaining their Master’s degrees.
Cook Islands Nurses Association president Nga Manea would like to recognise past nursing association leaders Susan Strickland, Tu Tutakiau, Neti Tamarua, Poko Matapo, Rai Heather, Ina Puri and Elizabeth Iro and matrons/directors of nursing Mii Matapo, Ngapoko Short, Neti Tamarua, Peta Ngari and Elizabeth Iro.
“The Cook Island Nurses’ Association is delighted to celebrate and honour the achievements of Elizabeth Iro as the first nurse in the Cook Islands to be appointed as the head of the Ministry of Health for two years, and she is well known as a fulltime professional nurse in the region,” says Manea.
“We also recognise the outstanding achievement of Dr Neti Tamarua, the first Cook Islands nurse to receive a PhD, who was recently appointed as the Director of Community Health Service.”
Manea also paid tribute to Nikki Rattle on her appointment as Speaker of the House.
“She has contributed significantly to the profession of nursing in her years as a professional nurse and we honour her achievement.
“Congratulations, Madam Speaker.”
As part of the Nurses’ Week celebrations, local nurses will host a professional development weekend camp from the May 15 to 17.
On Saturday May 16 the nurses will stage a marching parade from the Punanga Nui Market to the Public Health Department at 9am to promote nursing in the community.
On Sunday May 17 nurses will attend a church service at the Avarua Apostolic Church at 10am.
The Cook Islands Nurses’ Association extends an invitation to any nurse from the outer islands, private sectors, overseas and retired nurses to join in the celebrations.
The association will also commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the Cook Islands government during the week.
“On this note, I wish all the nurses a happy and a blessed international Nurses’ Week,” says Manea.
This year’s International Nurses Day theme is ‘Nurses: A Force for Change: Care-Effective, Cost-Effective’, reflecting International Council of Nurse’s (ICN) commitment for action to strengthen and improve health systems around the world.
The cost of health care is rising worldwide, placing a heavy financial burden on health systems and populations globally.
Nurses, as the single largest profession in the health workforce, are well positioned to drive efficiency and effectiveness improvements while also providing quality care and attaining optimal patient and population outcomes.