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Innovative New Post-graduate Nursing Degree Launches

Living rurally or at distance can be overcome by learning to be a nurse online. 

Healthcare workers around the world are making headlines for their roles on the frontline in the fight against COVID-19. Now, a new post-graduate degree aimed at people who want a career change to nursing, allows students to become a registered nurse within two years.

The Master of Clinical Practice (Nursing) is available from Semester 2 and no previous health degree or experience is required, however students must have an undergraduate degree. The course is predominantly delivered online with some block courses and clinical placements, allowing people to balance study with work or family commitments.

Programme director Dr Rhonda McKelvie says students will study theory related to health, nursing knowledge and science using stimulating online approaches that support people to learn when it suits them. In addition, innovative simulation in labs is coupled with high-quality clinical placements in hospitals and community settings where students apply and advance their learning.

“This is an exciting and innovative programme that Massey University has established to increase access to nursing for people who may not have considered this career in the past. Living rurally or at distance can be overcome by learning online, which is balanced by high value clinical placements that assist students to build on their previous degrees and experience to achieve readiness for registered nursing practice in just two years,” says Dr McKelvie.

Nursing is a rewarding career focused on supporting people, families and communities to manage a wide range of health challenges, according to Dr McKelvie. There are many areas to work in, including intensive care, primary health care with children or young people, mental health and specialist wards or clinics for adults who have complex health conditions, such as diabetes or heart disease.

Nursing Council of New Zealand data reports there were 54,460 practicing nurses in March 2019, an increase on two years prior. Of that total, only eight per cent identified as Māori and four per cent as Pacific, figures that the University is committed to helping to increase.

The Ministry of Health has prioritised the development of the nursing workforce, including increasing the number of Māori and Pacific nurses. “Massey University has a strong focus on building health and social equity and nurses work to improve the lives of all people by promoting health, preventing disease and helping people cope with illness,” says Head of School of Nursing Professor Nicolette Sheridan. “COVID-19 has shown the dedication and commitment of nurses and other health care workers. We hope to see an increase in the number of people who are attracted to a meaningful professional career such as nursing”.

The World Health Organisation has declared 2020 as the International Year of the Nurse and Midwife and represents the 200th anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing.

Applications for the Master of Clinical Practice (Nursing) close Friday June 12. There are ten scholarships available to the value of $8500 for course fees, and $30,000 to help with course-related costs, which is distributed evenly across semesters. Applicants must be enrolled in the programme to apply for the scholarship, which closes on Monday June 15.

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