Carey Campbell, Director of Nursing Southern Cross said: “Every Southern Cross nurse steps up to play an important role in enhancing the health and well-being of so many New Zealanders. Over the last couple of years, they’ve shown tremendous resilience, adjusting to constantly changing ways of working under strict Covid-19 related protocols. Today we will be showing how thankful we are for their ongoing dedication and care.
“Nurses in our Southern Cross hospitals will receive an extra day’s special leave with all staff being well and truly fussed over with morning teas and treats. It’s just one of the ways we can show how much we appreciate our wonderful nurses and the contribution they make to our patients’ care.”
The extra day’s special leave is also extended to our non-nursing teams in recognition of the important role they play in enabling nurses to deliver excellent care.
Campbell adds, while Southern Cross faces the same issues as other healthcare providers, including recruiting new nursing team members, the leadership team is committed to developing meaningful careers to help retain nurses in the workforce.
“Southern Cross offers multiple educational opportunities with programs to support cohorts of newly graduated nursing staff, grow clinical skills such as support for anesthesia, as well as developing leadership and management of nursing team members. From an excellent nurse entry-to-practice program, to encouraging team members to register as Nurse Practitioners or gain a Master’s degree, we’re creating a pipeline of amazing people to come through and be part of our team and lead our hospitals.”
Nursing can lead to great things
Campbell talked to the recent appointment of Stephanie Thomson as GM of the Southern Cross Hospital in Rotorua as an example of how a career in nursing can lead to great things. Starting out as a youngster in the 1980s, setting up a telemedicine clinic in Hawaii and eventually training as a nurse practitioner, Thomson has charted an extraordinary path to the top.
“Stephanie is just one example of the way a career in nursing can really take you places you might not have considered. She is super talented, and we’re delighted she chose to use those talents with Southern Cross. I’m hopeful other Southern Cross team members will follow in her footsteps.”
Two nursing team members who feature in a Southern Cross Healthcare campaign talked about their experience.
Kevin Velasco at the Auckland Surgical Centre said: “Southern Cross invests in a high performing team by building them up and supporting them through a leadership pathway. I started out seven years ago as a registered nurse and I’m now ward manager. The leadership team has a way of identifying people with the potential to go further with their professional goals. What I really like is how leaders sit down and talk with you about anything – they are really genuine people.”
Grassy Zhao has recently moved from a position as Infection Prevention and Control nurse in the Southern Cross hospital in Hamilton to a national support office role as a quality and risk advisor. “Southern Cross has created lots of opportunities for me. I was encouraged to speak at a national health informatics conference facing thousands of people and I have also finished my Master’s degree with Southern Cross sponsoring my last four years of study.”
Campbell believes the future is exciting for Southern Cross Healthcare, thanks to the people in her charge.
“We’re committed to offering the very best patient experience which means we need the best people to deliver that care. Southern Cross is stepping up to shoulder our fair share of the load to nurture a nursing workforce which is second to none. While International Nurses’ Day comes around once a year, we’re thankful to the team who backs us, every day.”
Southern Cross Health Insurance was recognised by Reader’s Digest NZ Most Trusted Brands survey earlier this year, winning the health insurance category for the sixth consecutive year.