Applauding NZNO membership.
Article Type: Letter to the editor
Author: Monahan, Trish
Pub Date: 04/01/2012
Publication: Name: Kai Tiaki: Nursing New Zealand Publisher: New Zealand Nurses' Organisation Audience: Trade Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Health; Health care industry Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2012 New Zealand Nurses' Organisation ISSN: 1173-2032
Issue: Date: April, 2012 Source Volume: 18 Source Issue: 3
Accession Number: 288872517
Full Text: I have nursed since I left school in 1972 and went to train as a community nurse at St Helen's Hospital in Wellington. In 2000, I commenced my bachelor of nursing in Christchurch. It all seems like yesterday. I have had a wonderful, varied and amazing career thus far. I have taken myself off to the United States (US), nursed privately, learnt about the US insurance system and the struggle people have in that country. The Channel Islands, the north east of England and Ireland also featured in my travels.

My nursing training has never let me down and I have met the most amazing people. I've had to stick up for New Zealand nursing training. I was told by one boss that "your country must be backward if that's how you do things". At the time I was asking for help because my patient was deteriorating and her paperwork was not being done on time! I have used my cultural safety training. While working in a private, very expensive facility, employing many international nurses, a manager was clearly biased and favouring some nurses over others. I wasn't having any of it! I stood up to him. I had the confidence he had bullied out of others.

I have had a vast array of experiences that have made me more self assured and aware just what a great opportunity I was given in life.

I have had two occasions in my nursing career when I needed to call on NZNO. The first was in the '80s when, after taking maternity leave, I was ready to return to work, only to find someone else had taken my job and I was told there wasn't a place for me. I phoned NZNO and the situation was sorted out very quickly. I had three offers of work within two days. I was so happy to be a member then and have advocated the need for NZNO support to my work colleagues ever since.

The second occasion was in 2010 after returning from working in the United Kingdom. I was working for a company as a nurse consultant and the chief executive took it upon himself to fire me for his own reasons. There was no basis for his actions and I knew I had rights. So, once again, I called on the help of NZNO, specifically, Kay Squires, from the Christchurch office. With all that our community was going through, she took my case on with gusto and supported me through a very harrowing time in my career. I thank her most heartily and want to reinforce just how important it is for us older nurses to mentor, support and encourage younger nurses about the importance of NZNO support and what can be achieved on our behalf.

My membership fees are insignificant compared with what I would have had to pay privately for the support of a lawyer.

I look forward to a few more years of nursing excitement. We never know what's around the corner but we can meet it head on--we are New Zealand nurses. Kia kaha!

Trish Monahan, RN, BN, Darfield, Canterbury.
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