Hutt Valley nurse Stephanie Beddis has won the “New Zealand’s Hardest Working Nurse” competition sponsored by economist, philanthropist and writer Gareth Morgan.
Beddis, who works as an emergency department nurse at Hutt Hospital, was nominated by her colleagues for the competition and has won $10,000 from the Morgan Family Charitable Foundation which she has donated to the Lions Club Silverstream which is actively involved in supporting emergency services and health care in the Hutt Valley.
We had a tremendous response from all over New Zealand with around 50 nurses being nominated by their patients and peers. Stephanie made the final short list because of her dedication and passion for children’s health and wellbeing. She rallies local businesses and charities for toys and rewards for diversion therapy when children are having procedures done, and has organised a special area in the department for children to play and have entertainment.
In addition she has contributed to child specific policies within the department, and helps make the time in hospital a better for sick and injured children, helping make Hutt Hospital one of the best in the country for children. She also has been involved in policy development and has made many child health projects come to fruition over the years. The public were able to vote for Stephanie along with three other finalists in an online poll run over the last week. While all four finalists polled strongly, Stephanie ended up winning by a margin of eight percent.
I’d like to thank all those all made nominations and also all those voted. I’d also congratulate the three runners up, Jo Dysart a Huntington’s Disease Nurse Specialist at ADHB; Alison Wilden from the Gore Medical Centre and Jeanette Banks from East Care Health, Aranui. They are all a credit to their DHBs.
Why have a competition?
One of the key findings of Health Cheque was that it was the hard working nurses that were largely holding the public health system together. After talking with a lot of nursing staff, it’s clear to me that they do what they do because they like making a difference and genuinely enjoy caring for their patients. It’s certainly not handsome pay packets driving their commitment. So in order to honour their commitment I decided to run a competition for New Zealand’s hardest working nurse. The winner would be able to donate $10,000 to a health charity of their choice.
I was overwhelmed by the response. Over 50 nominations were submitted, and they all incredible told stories about nurses who go the extra mile. All of the nominated nurses do an incredible job, and deserve recognition for it. However, there could only be one winner. To simplify the voting process we selected four of the nominees who we felt showed exceptional dedication to their role. Then we opened the voting up to the New Zealand public to allow them to decide. Once again I was amazed by the response. In one week of voting we received over 1,600 votes, and the race was very close.