A profession struggling to retain staff has recently celebrated an industry leader's career milestone.
Margaret Norris, a Hawke’s Bay registered nurse, celebrated 50 years of work with no end in sight.
Margaret Norris “Marg” said she fell into the career by fluke.
“I didn't know what I wanted to do, and my school friend said I'm going to have an interview with the matron Ms Hall, 'can you please come with me,' my mum said go have a go see what you think so we went for the interview with Ms Hall and we came out with a job and here we are still,” Norris said.
The now 67-year-old graduated in 1965 with a Diploma in Medical and Surgical Nursing and Bachelor of Nursing.
Five decades on she’s worked in almost every corner of the Hawke’s Bay Hospital.
Norris said highlight's have been post operative and intensive care work, where she's seen a huge change in pain management.
“Back when we were students we would practice on oranges."
“I remember my first injection went ping and bounced out, that was really disconcerting put me off, I had to come back for another go and now we do it all by intravenous drip which is kinder and have all sorts of other ways of carrying out medicine which we didn't have 50 years ago,” she said.
Clinical lead and anaesthetist Sheila Malcolmson said Norris has been an inspiration on the wards.
“She could go till she’s 100 if we let her,”
“She loves teaching and she's a great mentor for the younger staff and she always goes above the call of duty to help the patients and to help out if things are going badly or busy,” she said.
Registered Nurse Sheila Taylor said she had worked with Norris for 30 years.
“Marg is hard working, diligent, she cares about patients and the staff, she always puts them first.”
Marg said she looks forward to many more years of nursing but would like to see some changes to the industry she loves.
“The big thing now is pay parity, staffing issues, trying to attract more people into nursing and a new hospital would be nice.