Corrections Minister Louise Upston today acknowledged the nearly 250 nurses, team leaders and health centre managers who deliver primary health services to prisoners behind the wire every day.
Each year International Nurses Day is celebrated on 12 May - the birthday of Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing. It recognises the contribution made by nurses around the world.
New Zealand Corrections nurses carry out more than 100,000 consultations with prisoners every year.
“It is important that we acknowledge the work of Corrections nurses to improve prisoners’ wellbeing,” says Ms Upston.
“Prison nurses have complex workloads and work in a unique and challenging environment that is quite different from the world outside the wire.”
Corrections nurses have a significant impact on the lives of prisoners. The healthcare provided by prison nurses helps them better engage in education, rehabilitation programmes, and employment opportunities and ultimately reduces their risk of reoffending.
“Their patients typically have higher health and mental health needs than the rest of the community, and these nurses are often the first healthcare professionals that prisoners have seen in some time,” Ms Upston says.
The theme of International Nurses Day this year is Nurses: A Voice to Lead, Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.