Happy International Nurses Days!

(L-R) Harry Rose Scholarship recipients Sione ‘Ulufonua, Anne Ki-Holeva Tui and Kathleen Willison.

Three students making career transitions to nursing are the latest recipients of Harry Rose Charitable Trust MIT Scholarship Awards.

The awards are generously supported by Papatoetoe West Rotary Club in conjunction with Harry Rose Charitable Trust and provide a grant of $1500 each to high achievers in School of Health and Counselling’s NZ Certificate in Study and Career Preparation (Level 4) programme who are continuing on to degree programmes.

Kathleen Willison, Anne Ki-Holeva Tui and Sione ‘Ulufonua were presented with their cheques and trophies ahead of International Nurses Day on Wednesday 12 May.

The theme in 2021 is Nurses: A Voice to Lead – A Vision of the Future and at MIT we are training the next generation of health workers to deliver care in culturally responsive environments.

“I think nurses are born. You are born to be a nurse,” says Kathleen, who is in her first year of Bachelor of Nursing – Māori. “If you really want to do it. It’s in your heart. You want to help people. Just do it.”

“I really do believe nurses are selfless people. They give more than they get back,” says Sione, who worked as a steward for Air New Zealand for fourteen years before being made redundant when COVID-19 hit.

Studying for a degree is the first time Kathleen Willison has been back in the classroom after spending more than two decades as a stay-at-home mum then working in retail and aged care.

The 42-year-old saw the value of having more Māori in healthcare while working at a rest home.

“One (of the residents) would see me and kōrero in te reo, she had dementia but knew I was Māori. She wouldn’t talk to the other staff and I felt I could do more if I did nursing,” she says.

Kathleen is enjoying the tīkanga and reo focus of Bachelor of Nursing – Māori, the classes held at Ngā Kete Wānanga Marae and the whakawhanaungatanga of the classroom.

Sione ‘Ulufonua is now studying Bachelor of Nursing – Pacific and is delighted with the award that will go towards a new laptop, text books and transport costs.

“Don’t be afraid to venture out when something happens. Don’t wait for things to be back to normal,” is his advice to those who face sudden career change. “Take it in your hands and run with it. I’m glad I did. It opens up a whole new world for yourself,” he says.

Anne Ki-Holeva Tui had a well-paid job as a quality controller in the manufacturing industry, but her transition to nursing came from a desire to inspire and make change in her community.

She’s also studying Bachelor of Nursing – Pacific believing its model of providing culturally centred care is an important step towards lifting health outcomes.

“I’ve been in experiences with my own family where they are so afraid when they go to the doctor,” says Ms Ki-Holeva Tui. “That’s why I wanted to become a nurse. I want to be there to explain and let them feel they can talk. If they feel more comfortable and a nurse is building that environment, letting them know there’s someone who understands them and their culture.”

MIT would like to acknowledge the support of the Harry Rose Scholarship Trust, Papatoetoe West Rotary Club and wish our students, staff along with nurses everywhere a happy International Nurses Day!