The complexity and variety of nursing is being celebrated as International Nurses Day is marked throughout the Bay of Plenty today.

Traditional perceptions of nursing were no longer accurate said Bay of Plenty District Health Board (BOPDHB) Director of Nursing Julie Robinson, as the profession had evolved.

"The variety of roles nurses play and the contribution they make across the community, not just in the hospital setting, is huge now," Ms Robinson said.

"Many still see nurses as people who take temperatures and comfort their patients but, whilst those are important roles, nursing is much more complex than that.


"Nurses work in intensive care, the Emergency Department, neonatal, primary care, to name but a few. It is a psychologically, emotionally and physically demanding job but nurses are amazingly resilient and passionate and turn up day after day to help others. We want to acknowledge that today."

As part of the day, registered nurse, Nitin Scaria has introduced a 'Hi-5 for Nurses' initiative, with colleagues greeting one another with Hi-5s to celebrate the day.

"Rather than limiting the celebrations to our nursing teams, we wanted to share the celebrations throughout the organisation," Mr Scaria said.

"By the end of the day, we're hoping the 'Hi-5' will be passed on and all staff throughout the organisation will Hi-5 each other, celebrating nurses day together. A bit like a Mexican wave which often spontaneously breaks out at sporting events."

Mr Scaria once worked in a bank but loves his new job.

"I was earning good money and had great hours, but there was no job satisfaction. Seven years ago I retrained as a nurse and I haven't looked back."

International Nurses Day is celebrated around the world every May 12, the anniversary of Florence Nightingale's birth.