NorthTec and Northland DHB address nursing shortage with new programme | Te Whatu Ora - Te Tai Tokerau

NorthTec and Northland DHB address nursing shortage with new programme

Liz Inch,

NorthTec and Northland DHB are working in partnership to enhance the Northland nursing workforce and meet the demand due to a national nursing shortage.

NorthTec is offering a Diploma in Enrolled Nursing(external link), an 18-month programme which will run from March 2020 and will lead graduates to register as an Enrolled Nurse to Nursing Council of New Zealand (NCNZ).

Dr. Bev MacKay, Pathway Manager - Nursing at NorthTec, says there is a high need for more Enrolled Nurses in Northland and nationwide due to a shortage of Registered Nurses. She says, “Having a second-tier nursing programme alongside our Bachelor of Nursing degree will strengthen the overall nursing workforce.”

In July 2018, representatives of the New Zealand Nurses Organisation (NZNO), district health boards (DHBs) and the Ministry of Health signed an Accord, committing the parties to ensuring that there are sufficient nurses and midwives in New Zealand public hospitals to ensure both their own and their patients’ safety.  

“Enrolled Nurses are part of the solution as we seek to provide cost-effective, high-quality care in a range of settings,”says Deanna (Dee) Telfer, Acting Director of Nursing & Midwifery (Northland DHB). “There is a commitment to employ all graduates across Northland and there is a Nursing Entry to Practice programme to support their transition into the workforce.”

“The Diploma in Enrolled Nursing at NorthTec (with practical placements across the four DHB Hospitals) will have a positive effect on nursing supply and it will address the importance of incorporating enrolled nursing into future models of care,” Dee said.

Northland’s population is the fastest growing in NZ with an 18.1 percent increase between 2013 and 2018. Nursing holds half the workforce in healthcare, so it is essential to ensure our nursing workforce is in supply.

“There is also an increased complexity of patient– this results in Registered Nurses working to the top of their scope and delegating responsibilities to other regulated and unregulated workforce. We also recognise the skills and experience the Health Care Assistants (HCAs) and the Mental Health Axillary Workers (MHAW) bring to the workforce,” Dee said.

The programme itself is a full-time course that is split into two parts: Part 1 consists of 4 theory courses, including clinical skills taught in practice simulation rooms, and 1 clinical course of 300 hours in a clinical practice setting. Part 2 consists of 3 rotations of 6 weeks in class and 4 weeks in a clinical placement in mental health, acute care and rehabilitation/primary health care, and palliative care.

Once registered with NCNZ as an Enrolled Nurse, graduates may be employed in a wide range of health care, hospital and community settings. These may include: acute care, primary care, medical/surgical, mental health & addictions, māori health, community health and/or aged care.

Registrations are now open - click here (external link)for more information. The start date of the first programme is 16 March 2020.

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