The ANANZ (Anthroposophical Nurses Association in New Zealand) was founded in 1993 and currently has approximately 60 nurse members.

The Association has a central committee of seven who are confirmed in their roles annually at an Annual General Meeting. We aim for two weekend conferences a year with the themes arising out of current professional issues and how we might approach them from an anthroposophical perspective. The programme sessions incorporate lectures, clinical work, artistic experience, plant and patient study as well as time for clinical and professional discussion. The constant pressures of maintaining competency in work life leave little space, but we all value the time spent and support gained from our ANANZ weekends. We have a register of nurses who are actively working as anthroposophical nurses and who take responsibility for individual peer support and review.

In relationship with our international nursing colleagues, a group of New Zealand Anthroposophical Nurse Specialists gained international accreditation during 2009.

Currently, the Certificate and Diploma in Holistic Healthcare is offered at Taruna College. The diploma qualification or its equivalence is a requisite for inclusion on the ANANZ Register of Anthroposophical Nurses.

So, just over 15 years since the Association was founded, we look back on many years of continual working amongst colleagues, networking and building relationships, and articulating and showing through our accompanying and therapies, new possibilities for supporting in health and through illness.  Many of us here in New Zealand work steadily to find ways to enable our nursing work within mainstream settings. Currently this is most realised in hospice work, primary health care, community support and through post graduate study.

We have strong connections internationally with our anthroposophical nursing colleagues through IFAN and various individual work done through the Asia-Pacific region and in Great Britain. Current and recent research work has been undertaken by members on such subjects as the ginger kidney compress and spirituality in nursing in this country.

Looking ahead, we continue to work together regionally, nationally and internationally, especially hoping to foster stronger active links with our mainstream colleagues as well as the other Medical Section professional groups. As nurses, we are grateful for the insights gained through Anthroposophy to realise the spiritual in daily practical life. Jean Watson, an eminent nursing scholar, stated it so simply when she said, “Nursing is ultimately a spiritual practice”.

– Deborah Bednarek , ANANZ co-ordinator –

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