16 September 2015
Auckland clinical nurse director Abel Smith was honoured for his service to nursing at an awards ceremony in Wellington last night.
NZNO kaiwhakahaere Kerri Nuku presented the award, "I can't think of a more worthy recipient for this award. Abel is leading the way for Pacific nurse leaders. His skills and passion make a huge difference to the health of many."
"Abel's roles as a nursing clinician, educator and manager in the health sector have equipped him with a strong grounding to pursue and develop his health and nursing interests. We're looking forward to see Abel's contribution to nursing through policy development, research, management and education."
Since Abel graduated as a registered nurse from the Fiji School of Nursing in 1986 and Bachelor of Nursing at Unitec in Auckland, he has been committed to the promotion and development of nurses, nursing and other health and allied professionals. He is a firm believer that knowledge is power and that the acquisition of knowledge and experience enhances professional practice and impacts positively on the health outcomes of communities.
Enhancing professional growth and development has been a personal mission for him over the last 27 years of his nursing career. He is a committed advocate of Pacific Nurses and Health Professionals achieving academic excellence and realising their full potential in their careers. He is passionate about enhancing and strengthening the Pacific Nursing and Health workforce in New Zealand and the Pacific region and is currently involved with agencies that support this. These include Pasifika Medical Association, the Pacific Health Professional Organisations, the NZNO Pacific Nursing Section and the AUT Nursing Advisory Committee.
He is a founding member and current President of the Fiji Nursing Association (FNA) of NZ. In this role he is committed to developing and promoting good leadership, excellent clinical skills and enhanced knowledge of the FNA (NZ) members and also that of the Pacific Nursing and Health Workforce in New Zealand.
Kerri Nuku says, "We are privileged to have this opportunity to acknowledge Abel's work. His passion and commitment to the continued development of Pacific Nurses and Health Workers will contribute to better health outcomes for Pacific peoples and all New Zealanders."