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SDHB’s Return to Nursing Programme

Monday 18 April 2005

SDHB’s Return to Nursing Programme Gets Nursing Council Approval

Southland District Health Board’s (SDHB’s) Return to Nursing programme has received the thumbs up from the New Zealand Nursing Council as an approved competency based programme, Leanne Samuel, Director of Nursing and Midwifery announced today.

SDHB’s Nursing/Midwifery Practice Development Team created the unique programme in 2002 in an effort to combat the national nursing shortage and to boost numbers for SDHB’s full time and casual nursing pool.

Since then, the Health Practitioners Competency Assurance Act (2003) came into force meaning that registered nurses who have been out of practice for 5 years or more are now required to show the NZ Nursing Council evidence of competence and professional development in order to obtain their practising certificate and re-enter the workforce.

“The Nursing Council has made a thorough review of our programme, including an audit and a site visit, and has concluded that Return to Nursing meets all nursing council competencies and is therefore a recognised programme for nurses to re-gain their practising certificate,” Mrs Samuel said.

The 5-week programme has a combination of theory and clinical components to update nurses’ clinical skills and to help them regain confidence before re-entering the workforce.

The programme’s new status from the NZ Nursing Council makes it one of only two approved competency based courses in the South Island, the other being in Christchurch.

“This means that if a nurse contacts the NZ Nursing Council wanting to get their practising certificate, they will now be referred to Southland to sit our programme, which is also great for our province,” Mrs Samuel said.

“Return to Nursing has been a real success story for nurses and the Southland District Health Board from both a recruitment perspective and now from a training perspective,”

“The recent recognition by the NZ Nursing Council is a testimony to the hard work and innovation of our Practice Development Team,” she said.


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