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Ara Maintains Leading Nursing Employment Rate

Despite the challenges of COVID, Ara nursing graduates achieved extremely high rates of employment, with 98.5% of registered nursing graduates who sought work as an RN achieving success. Ara nursing employment rates are consistently amongst the top in the sector, and the 2020 results bear this out.

The Nurse Education in the Tertiary Sector report also showed that the national average was 97.1% - a figure that also bears testament to Ara’s contribution, with the Institute producing the single largest graduating group in the country with 228 graduates passing the state exams; more than twice the number of the next-largest class.

Enrolled nursing employment data were also extremely positive for 2020, with Ara students enjoying significantly higher rates than the national average.

While the Canterbury District Health Board has endured an eventful year, Ara’s Academic Manager - Nursing at Ara, Karen Edgecombe, says these national employment figures serve as a good reminder that a nursing career is both resilient and flexible, with opportunities expanding in New Zealand and further afield.

"Nursing is vital to the safe provision of health care and there are many opportunities for nurses today to extend their skills and knowledge to progress their careers. We work closely with our clinical partners, recognising and responding to the need for nursing education programmes that reflect our communities and their healthcare needs" she says.

Ara graduates also benefit from the successful long-term relationship that the Institute has maintained with the Canterbury District Health Board (CDHB), and the newer collaborations that the advent of new health training and research facility ‘Manawa’ is fostering with the University of Canterbury. Ara nursing students can now gain both a Bachelor of Nursing from Ara and a Master of Health Sciences from the University of Canterbury in just two years if they undertake the Bachelor of Nursing (Articulated with UC Master of Health Sciences Professional Practice (Nursing)).

Established health practitioners can also extend their knowledge base with the Postgraduate Certificate in Professional Supervision. Nurses, social workers and other professionals can improve their practice and their value within their communities by undertaking this one-year, part-time programme.

Experienced nurses in particular can also progress their career by opting for Ara’s Graduate Certificate in Nursing Practice. The only such qualification available for registered nurses in New Zealand, the Certificate is delivered face-to-face at Manawa, as well as through online and blended learning. Ara also offers several other health-related postgraduate qualifications, including some accredited by the Nursing Council of New Zealand, such as a Master of Nursing (Nurse Practitioner) and a Postgraduate Diploma in Heath Science (Registered Nurse Prescribing).

The Ara nursing programme is also adapting to the nation’s post-COVID demands. Ms. Edgecombe adds "We are extremely pleased to be able to provide work-ready graduates and an excellent example of this is the inclusion of final-year Bachelor of Nursing students in the staffing of the Managed Isolation and Quarantine facilities in Christchurch. Ara is the only School of Nursing in New Zealand currently providing this valuable clinical placement for final-year students and the experience has given students frontline experience in New Zealand’s border control activities. We believe that this adds to the work-readiness and employability of Ara graduates."

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