Te Hiku Hauora are proud to acknowledge one of their own who recently won a nursing award, Mamaru GP Clinic registered nurse, Laura Gelder.

24-year-old Laura walked away with the Leadership as a New Graduate award at the ACE Awards 2015, held last week in Whangarei.

The awards, (ACE-Acknowledging, Celebrating and Encouraging Excellence in primary health care work) are held annually and strive to acknowledge the excellent developments in Primary Health Care nursing settings

Laura says she is honoured and humbled to have been given this award.

“It is lovely to have been acknowledged for the work that I have done and it is reassuring to know that I am doing a good job.”

Hemaima Reihana-Tait, Associate Director of Nursing, Te Tai Tokerau PHO, agrees adding, “Laura is a stunning new graduate nurse whose future looks bright and we commend her for her tenacity, professionalism and drive. She is a great role model for other young nurses and we are proud of her.”

Laura joined the Te Hiku Hauora team in January 2014 as a new graduate nurse as part of the VLCA programme to encourage new graduate nurses into primary care. She oriented and trained as a practice nurse in the Kaitaia clinic, jumping at every opportunity to learn and quickly grasping the job and role.

She moved to Mamaru clinic later in 2014, taking on the role of sole immuniser, the responsibilities of the cold chain and immunisation work, and many other responsibilities within the busy practice.

Laura says she enjoys working at Mamaru clinic.

“We are not just colleagues at Mamaru clinic, we are a whanau. It is important to have a great team and I would not have been able to achieve what I have if I did not have their support.”

Mamaru GP Clinic manager Cheryl Britten adds, “Laura’s approach to the challenges of her job and her performance has been exemplary. As a new practice nurse in a busy rural and isolated general practice, she has become a very valuable member of the health team.”

Her desire to be a nurse stemmed from her own experience suffering with illness.

“I got very sick as a teenager and was admitted into hospital many times and eventually diagnosed with ulcerative colitis. I saw the nurses working in the hospital and the variety of care that was given to me which made me decide that this was the kind of work I wanted to eventually do once I got well again.”

Laura credits her caring nature and enjoyment in helping others to why she enjoys nursing.

“There is nothing more rewarding in my eyes than making a person feel well again or helping them – physically or mentally. I enjoy nursing because it does not feel like work for me, I am doing something every day that I am passionate about and that I love to do.”