Ode to Shortland Street

August 18, 2022

I wrote this poem in honour of the Government’s latest recruitment plan for nursing, and read it out at a recent delegates’ meeting. I thought the wider membership might like to read it too:


All Nurses Hear the Call to Arms

All nurses hear the call to arms,
Time has come to make a stand,
Tho’ perhaps not the path you chose,
Or the future you had planned.


Before you start your shift today,
There’s a course for you to do,
On Connect Me, your favourite site,
It will make your dreams come true.

It’s acting and auditioning,
And it covers many parts,
You’ll come out of it an expert,
Well-accomplished in the arts.

You’ll learn to do hair and make-up,
How to walk and talk just so,
How to work with many cultures,
And to manage a CEO.

You’ll learn when they call out action,
It’s the only time you move,
With appropriate expression,
You’ll be in the nursing groove.

The benefits are plentiful,
Recognition and great pay,
So when you think about it all,
There’s just one thing left to say:

You’re tired of the current system,
So nurses take back your power.
Let’s go and work on Shortland  Street,
Your shift’s done in half an hour.

Helen Kemp, RN,
NZNO delegate, Wellington Regional Hospital