Two of the best for Te Hiku

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TWO OF THE BEST: Te Hiku Hauora nurses Jeanette Rupapera (left) and Deb White. PICTURE/SUPPLIED
TWO OF THE BEST: Te Hiku Hauora nurses Jeanette Rupapera (left) and Deb White. PICTURE/SUPPLIED

Te Hiku Hauora in Kaitaia is celebrating the recognition of two of its nurses at last month's ACE award presentations in Kaikohe.

Registered nurse Deb White, who works in the GP clinic, won the Waiora Award for excellence in clinical practice, while Kaitaia Health Centre nurse Jeanette Rupapera was runner-up in the Mauri Ora: nursing workforce category.

The ACE (Acknowledging, Celebrating and Encouraging Excellence in primary health care work) awards are presented every year to acknowledge excellence in primary health care nursing.

Deb, who joined Te Hiku Hauora in 2007, said she was honoured and humbled to have received the award.

"I couldn't wish to work anywhere else or do any other job. Every day is different. I love everything about working here - my colleagues, my patients and the environment," she said.

She was nominated by colleague and Te Hiku Hauora GP clinic practice nurse team leader Alison Mills.

"She fulfils her role as a practice nurse to an excellent standard, and is a highly regarded and appreciated member of our team," she said.

"Deb is always busy, always happy to lend a hand, hard-working and conscientious. She is our immunisation champion, and takes that aspect of her role seriously."

Jeanette Rupapera, now in her 16th year at the Kaitaia Health Centre, said she too had felt humbled to be recognised, "especially for working as a practice nurse, a position I thoroughly enjoy due to the diversity of the position and the on-going learning that I receive."

"Our small team here are very supportive of each other," she said.

"Being a nurse is all I ever wanted to do since my early school years. My belief is no one can work as a nurse because of the 'job'. You have to have a passion for it."

Long-term colleague Bella Stevenson said Jeanette had been nominated for her resilience and professionalism, despite the adversity and inconsistency of nursing support around her.

"Jeanette is very quiet, humble about her own skill and capacity, but as an external observer she has maintained a very high level of professionalism, work ethic in spite of adversity, and almost single-handily demonstrated a resilient nursing workforce. For this effort I believe Jeanette should be honoured," she said.

Cheryl Britton, practice manager for Te Hiku Hauora, Mamaru and Kaitaia Health Centre GP clinics, agreed.

"We are so fortunate and privileged to have such outstanding nurses and team members as Deb and Jeanette. These two nurses always go the extra mile, and have an amazing work ethic. It is an honour to work alongside such wonderful people," she said.

- Northland Age

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