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Ngati Porou Nurse Wins New Zealand Scholarship

Thursday 9 September 2004

Ngati Porou Nurse Wins New Zealand Scholarship

One of eight Ministry of Health Nurse Practitioner (Rural) Scholarships has been awarded to Ngati Porou nurse Ariana Roberts.

Ms Roberts is on the Tairawhiti Innovative Nursing Team (TINT), which works at Juken Nissho Ltd and at Work and Income New Zealand. She is also a Ngati Porou Hauora Primary Health Organisation rural health nurse working on the East Coast.

She was incredibly surprised and humbled to learn she had been awarded the scholarship worth around $43,000.

“It’s been overwhelming. I could hardly speak when I got it and that’s unusual for me. Afterwards, I was feeling a huge amount of happiness and pride for my family.”

The Ministry of Health’s Nurse Practitioner (Rural) Scholarship is for nurses working towards qualifications to become a Nurse Practitioner with prescribing rights.

The Nurse Practitioner role is fairly new in New Zealand and at this stage there are no Nurse Practitioners in the Tairawhiti district.

With the help of the scholarship, Ms Roberts could be the first.

“The scholarship allows me to take a year off work and study for my last four Master’s papers. With those completed I will be able to apply to the Nursing Council to become a Nurse Practitioner with prescribing rights.”

Ms Roberts grew up on the East Coast and has been nursing in the Tairawhiti district for five years. TINT Project Coordinator Diane Williams is also studying to become a Nurse Practitioner. She said the scholarship was a huge credit to Ariana.

“She’s a very talented nurse and brings in-depth nursing and local knowledge to our team. Further study, without the pressure of also working during that time, will only increase her level of skills.”

Ms Roberts said it was only through the support of her immediate and extended whanau that she has been able to enjoy her work.

“This is meaningful for my family too, my son, my partner, my mother, my grandparents, and my sisters. I accept the scholarship on behalf of them, and my work colleagues and clients because without the experiences they have introduced me to, I wouldn’t have got to where I am today.”

Ms Roberts will begin her full time study through Auckland University in March 2005.


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