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Six rural nurses win scholarships

Six rural nurses win scholarships

Associate Health Minister Damien O'Connor is pleased to announce six rural nurses have been awarded Primary Health Care Nurse Practitioner (rural) scholarships.

A one-off package of $240,000 will be used to help the six registered nurses take one year off in 2004 to complete the necessary study to bring their qualifications up to nurse practitioner level, with prescribing competencies.

The nurses will receive $40,000 each towards their living expenses during their study leave.

"Nurse practitioners with prescribing competencies will make a valuable addition to the rural health workforce," says Mr O'Connor.

He says he is pleased that these six nurses, who had demonstrated their commitment to serving in a rural community, had been given the opportunity to take a break from their busy jobs to complete the nurse practitioner requirements.

The scholarships also recognised that nurses in rural areas can have difficulty accessing nursing programmes, he said.

The successful nurses are from Northland, Southland, the West Coast and Taranaki. Three are Maori nurses, working with a Maori community.

All six nurses were chosen by a selection panel made up of members of the Primary Health Care Nursing Expert Advisory Group, with additional rural members and nurse educators from around the country.

Applicants were judged on the overall strength of their application and evidence of their commitment to the nurse practitioner role.

Twelve nurses from the Waikato, Canterbury, Whanganui, Hawkes Bay, Tairawhiti, Auckland, Northland, South Canterbury, Otago and Lakes DHBs were unsuccessful when applying for primary health care nurse practitioner (rural) scholarships, but were awarded primary health care nursing postgraduate scholarships, which contribute to course fees and travel costs.

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