Photo: Enrolled nurse Leonie Metcalfe on duty at Waikato Hospital.
Waikato DHB enrolled nurse Leonie Metcalfe was among four nurses honoured at the annual NZNO Awards on 19 September.
The annual awards recognise the work of NZNO nurses and midwives who have made a positive difference to nursing or midwifery practice or practice environment.
Metcalfe has been an enrolled nurse (EN) at Waikato Hospital for 35 years and was nominated for being a great advocate for enrolled nursing at every opportunity. As well as her extensive history of supporting colleagues in the workplace, she has a long history of involvement with NZNO, is the enrolled nurse representative on Waikato DHB’s PDRP council and is currently the chair of NZNO’s Enrolled Nurse Midland Section.
Examples of her contribution include her participation in delivering and co-leading EN education, and her work in developing a new Enrolled Nurse Package in partnership with Waikato DHB’s Professional Development Unit. The package will provide orientation to new EN graduates, ENs coming into Waikato DHB from other areas, and also orientation to EN roles on different wards and services within Waikato DHB.
Metcalfe says the shape of nursing has changed over the past decade. “There is enough work to share across all the scopes of nursing and healthcare assistants. We are all needed. We work in partnership now, it’s a team.”
The scope of practice for enrolled nurses changed in 2010 enabling enrolled nurses to make a broader contribution to health services and give greater support to registered nurses. There are enrolled nurses working in exciting areas across the health sector – in hospitals, mental health services, corrections facilities, primary care, aged care facilities as well as in specialised areas such as home haemodialysis and the Burwood Spinal Unit.
“When enabled to work to the top of their scope of practice enrolled nurses are very valued members of the health team,” she says.
In the Waikato, two cohorts of enrolled nurse students start at Wintec each year, doing the Level 5 NZ Diploma of Enrolled Nursing. Metcalfe is a regular guest speaker, sharing her experiences and knowledge with the students. They are, she says, a mix of older and younger students and while most choose enrolled nursing as they want the more “hands on” caring role that enrolled nursing offers, some others will eventually go on to complete the Bachelor of Nursing degree and become registered nurses (RNs). As the enrolled nurse representative Metcalfe is a member of Wintec Employer Partnership Group (EPG).
Sue Hayward, Waikato DHB chief nursing and midwifery officer, says the award is a well-deserved honour. “Leonie has always supported and advocated for the enrolled nurse within Waikato DHB and promoted the very real value they bring to the ability of our health workforce to improve all aspects of patient care.”