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Meet some international nurse and midwife legends. Throughout the International Year of the Nurse and Midwife we will be showing-casing nurses and midwifes from across the world who have made outstanding contributions to their professions.

Our careers pages lists current opportunities and we are looking to recruit positive and enthusiastic nurses and midwives who have a genuine interest in patient well-being, in a variety of clinical specialities.


Mary Seacole 1805 - 1881

  • Mary was a Jamaican born nurse who helped soldiers during the Crimean War.
  • She was a contemporary of Florence Nightingale.
  • There is a school of thought that believes she influenced the use of proper hygiene as key to improving health outcomes before Florence Nightingale.
  • See Mary Seacole's biography.





Meet the nurse who founded the American Red Cross


  • Clarissa Harlowe Barton (December 25, 1821 – April 12, 1912) was a pioneering American nurse who founded the American Red Cross.
  • She was a hospital nurse in the American Civil War, a teacher, and patent clerk.
  • As a nurse she organised provisions for soldiers and replied to families looking for lost loved ones.
  • Following the Civil War she went to Switzerland and on meeting key people in the Red Cross, she returned to the United States and inaugurated a movement to gain recognition for the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) by the United States government.
  • In 1873, she began work on this project. She became President of the American branch of the society, which held its first official meeting at her in Washington, DC, May 21, 1881.

As we reflect on the mahi of nurses and midwives, we take inspiration from this whakataukī:

“Titiro whakamuri kōkiri whakamua – Look back and reflect so you can move forward.”

In so doing we honour our ancestors and learn from past mistakes.