International Nurses Day 2024

Our Nurses. Our Future. The economic power of care.

Thank you for the significant contribution you make to the lives of people in Aotearoa New Zealand. Every day nurses are making a real difference in what are challenging times.

Nurses continue to go above and beyond in providing highly skilled care, delivered with pride, compassion and professionalism. Thank you for continuing to improve health equity by integrating Te Tiriti o Waitangi ngā mātāpono – principles, based within the Kawa Whakaruruhau framework for cultural safety, that promote equity, inclusion, diversity, and rights of Māori as tangata whenua.

International Nurses Day acknowledges the collective contribution by nurses to the health and wellbeing of people around the world. Recent years have drawn a sharp focus on the irreplaceable work of nurses, and the need for a substantive investment in the nursing profession.

This year’s theme recognises the economic necessity to invest in nursing and in nursing education at all levels, as a best buy investment for all our futures rather than something to be neglected.

Aotearoa New Zealand was the first country in the world to register nurses. On International Nurses Day, we hope you can celebrate the care you provide, the nursing legacy of which you are part, and the difference that nurses make every day to the wellbeing of people in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Noho ora mai rā i roto i ngā manaakitanga katoa.

Ngaira Harker, Council Chair Cath Byrne, Chief Executive/Registrar



Celebrating nurses

On International Nurses Day, we recognise the work of all nurses. This year we highlight the diverse areas of practice and education where nurses are making a difference.

Investment in Nurse Practitioners shapes care for the public


Ani Tomoana: Registered Nurse Prescriber and Nurse Educator

Ani Tomoana – nurse prescriber, nurse educator, nurse practitioner trainee, mentor and parent - highlights the vital role of nurses in improving access to medical services, a mission that resonates with the core values of nursing.

The Hawke’s Bay nurse is in the midst of Victoria University’s Nurse Practitioner Training Programme. As a Registered Nurse Prescriber, Ani can already prescribe limited medications for common ailments and issues but Nurse Practitioners prescribe medicines within their area of competence with the same authority as medical practitioners.

“I think it’s a natural progression,” Ani says of becoming a nurse practitioner.

Also Nurse Educator Primary Healthcare at local primary health organisation Health Hawke’s Bay, Ani is passionate about encouraging new nurse graduates to work in the community and in primary healthcare.

“Really it’s to increase access to timely and appropriate healthcare services for the community,” Ani says. “Because we know that’s where the need is."


Investment in Māori nurse-leaders to shape improved Māori health outcomes


Rhoena Davis: Nurse Practitioner

Rhoena (Ngati Kahu, Te Rarawa, Ngati Hine and Ngati Manu - Nga Puhi Nui Tonu) has played a pivotal role in shaping nursing leadership and advocating for Māori health at local, regional, and national levels.


Currently chair of Aronuku, the Māori caucus of the College of Nurses Aotearoa, Rhoena was also a key member of the Nursing Council’s interim Kōmiti Māori and a Nursing Council Nurse Practitioner panellist.

Rhoena’s influence extends beyond her roles within nursing organisations. She has led initiatives to develop cultural safety competencies, advocated for funding and policy changes to support Nurse Practitioners, and worked tirelessly to address inequities in healthcare delivery, particularly in rural and remote areas. Her leadership is characterised by her passion for primary care and her advocacy for vulnerable populations, making her a highly respected figure within the nursing and medical communities.

Rhoena's story is an inspiring example of how dedicated leadership can drive significant improvements in healthcare delivery and policy.


Investing in nurses to shape behaviours in care


John Fa’ukafa, 2023 NZ Young Nurse of the Year

As part of the Pohutukawa Clinic’s Adult Sexual Assault Service, John is the first Pasifika male nurse in New Zealand to provide after-hours forensic nursing care.

John always views the service from a patient perspective and is always finding ways to improve access to care.

His kindness extends beyond patients. He actively supports his colleagues, fostering a positive work environment for everyone, including doctors, receptionists, schedulers and nurses, cleaners, and psychologists.

John’s courage and resilience shine through as an openly gay Tongan male nurse. By sharing his experience, he helps break down stereotypes and promotes acceptance. His unwavering support for patients transcends age, ethnicity, sexuality, and gender identity.

John embodies the values of nursing with compassion, resilience, and inclusivity.


Lifetime investment in education shapes the future of nursing


Dr Annette Huntington MNZM

Dr Annette Huntington has a long and distinguished career in nursing education, research and related professional issues. Annette is currently Chief Advisor Education for the Nursing Council, continuing her contribution and commitment to nursing education and research at all levels.

Annette fundamentally believes education is a major force for social justice and change, and that nursing scholarship is essential especially in the current challenging health care context. Nurses exploring, examining and extending the unique knowledge of the profession is fundamental to the strength and standing of the profession.

Annette is committed to supporting students from Aotearoa New Zealand, the Pacific and other countries, particularly at post-graduate level, to achieve their study goals and then to make a contribution to their communities, health and the wider discussions of nursing practice within the political context of the day.

Annette has held a variety of roles alongside her position as Professor and Head of School at Massey University and has undertaken research in Aotearoa New Zealand and internationally in large multi-disciplinary teams always focused on nursing. This commitment was recognised in 2012 when Annette was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for contributions specifically to nursing research.

Annette has had a significant influence on the shape of the past and current nursing workforce and her mahi will continue to influence the nursing workforce of the future.