Government's Shortland Street nursing plot: five things recruitment drive should avoid

August 3, 2022 2:10 pm

[Source: NZ Herald]

Health Minister Andrew Little is pulling out some creative stops to encourage young Kiwis into nursing – including a Government campaign with longstanding Kiwi soap Shortland St.

In a bid to help curb New Zealand’s health-worker shortage, Little announced on Monday a colab, if you will, with the popular drama and its social media platforms to “assist in promoting nursing as a fantastic career”.

While the likes of Robyn Malcolm’s homely nurse Ellen Crozier may have inspired some into healthcare in years past, there are plenty among Shorty’s nursing alumni who would have steered potential recruits well away from the swinging doors of a hospital.

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Yesterday a senior nurse told Newstalk ZB she is in disbelief over the proposal. She said not a single day in her 30-year career has felt like a soap opera. However, Shortland Street producer Oliver Driver pointed to the plan as a way for the show to “stay relevant and part of the conversation”.

As the Government shares information with producers to create storylines aimed at recruiting nurses in real life, we’ve taken it upon ourselves to recall a few characters and plots from episodes past that they’ll want to avoid in their recruitment campaign.

She was Shortland Street’s original sinner: nurse Carla Crozier. Played by Elisabeth Easther, Carla did nothing for the face of healthcare when her character bludgeoned her husband to death with a candlestick.

The blackmailing, marijuana-lacing nurse struck fear in the hearts of 90s Shorty St fans before making her infamous return last year to hold a bunch of nurses hostage – in between setting a house on fire and appearing in dark corridors, a menacing tinkle always audible.

Suffice to say, Carla’s not the sort of cohort you’d want to find yourself folding hospital corners with.