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Scholarships encouraging more Māori to become nurses

17 February 2015
Scholarships encouraging more Māori to become nurses

Twenty seven young Māori nursing students were awarded scholarships to Whitireia’s nursing school from Capital & Coast District Health Board (CCDHB) last week.

This is the first year the scholarships have been awarded as part of a partnership between CCDHB and Whitireia’s Health Faculty.

“Māori are underrepresented as healthcare professionals and overrepresented as healthcare users,” says Andrea McCance, CCDHB’s Director of Nursing and Midwifery.

“Currently Māori make up 13 per cent of the district’s population but only six per cent of our nursing staff. These scholarships are a stepping stone to creating a health work force more representative of the people that we treat, and improving the health of our communities,” Andrea says.

Students who received the scholarships were grateful to have support from CCDHB.

“As students we have had to make many sacrifices, spending time away from family, friends, and loved ones,” Marama McGhie says, one of the students on the Māori nursing course.

“Receiving this scholarship has justified this struggle and made me more determined than ever to carve out my future as a registered nurse”.

Vicki Simon, one of the nursing tutors at Whitireia, says the relationship between the school and CCDHB has been fantastic.

“Last year our graduates had both a 100 per cent pass rate and 100 per cent employment. If it wasn’t for our relationship with CCDHB and their staff we wouldn’t have had the success we have,” Vicki says.

The scholarships support the Ministry of Health’s Māori workforce initiative ‘Kia Ora Hauora’, aimed at increasing the number of Māori on a health study pathway.

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