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2nd round scholarships for primary health nurses

17 September 2003 Media Statement

Second round of scholarships for primary health nurses

Health Minister Annette King says she wants to encourage registered nurses working in primary health care to apply now for the second and final round of Ministry of Health postgraduate scholarships.

Ms King said 183 registered nurses received study scholarships earlier this year, and a further $470,000 will be available for nurses wanting to undertake postgraduate study in 2004.

"The scholarships are a great opportunity for nurses to access further education, and they should make a positive impact on primary health care nursing,” says Ms King. “There was huge interest among nurses for the first round of scholarships, and I expect the same enthusiasm for the second round."

Ministry of Health Chief Advisor Nursing Dr Frances Hughes says applicants for the scholarships should be New Zealand registered nurses, have previous work experience in the New Zealand health and disability sector, have the support of their employer and be able to take time off for study if appropriate.

"I was absolutely delighted with the response we received for our first round of scholarship funding. There is no doubt that investing in nurse education will produce a more skilled and focused primary health care workforce. This will make a profound difference, especially in reducing inequalities in access to primary health care," says Dr Hughes.

Ms King said good, accessible primary health care was crucial to improving the overall health of New Zealanders.

“Nurses have a key role to play, and the Government has invested $8.1 million to support primary health care nursing - part of an initial $410 million package to begin implementing the Primary Health Care Strategy.”

Applications close on November 14, 2003, and forms are available by request or from the Ministry of Health website. Applicants will be selected by a panel of nurses including postgraduate educators and members of the Primary Health Care Nursing Expert Advisory Group.

ENDS

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