03 May 2017
Ara Institute of Canterbury-trained nurses are in demand. Nursing graduates who completed their studies in November 2016 at Ara have achieved the top employment rates for nursing graduates in New Zealand with 94.5% employed as registered nurses. The national average was 73.3%.
The Ara nursing programme works closely with the Canterbury District Health Board (CDHB) and other clinical providers to ensure nursing graduates have the skills the health sector requires.
Graduate gravitates to mental health services
Angus Fraser was employed as a registered nurse at Hillmorton Hospital after graduating from Ara last year. He is particularly interested in speciality mental health services and completed one of his three training placements on the inpatient ward where he is now employed. His other placements were at Ward 19 Orthopedics, the Ngaio Marsh dementia ward and Nurse Maude community nursing in North Canterbury.
His previous experience raised expectations that he would transition quickly from student nurse to registered nurse. “But it was manageable,” he said. “I was definitely set up to do the job.” The training is demanding, but he would recommend nursing as a rewarding career. “Absolutely, it is a struggle, but at the end of the day it is definitely worth it.” Currently on the post-graduate programme Nurse Entry to Specialist Practice (NESP), which is specific to mental health nursing, Angus plans to work in mental health for a while and then consider some volunteer nursing work overseas in the future.
The sector welcomes graduates
Nursing leaders throughout the Canterbury health system are proud of Ara nursing graduates such as Angus. “These nurses are our future. Our partnership with Ara is the key to this success and these new nurses will be working throughout our health system making a difference to our community,” CDHB Executive Director of Nursing Mary Gordon said.
The close working relationship with CDHB and other agencies provides Ara graduates with practical experience from clinical placements to ensure they are work ready, Ara Head of Nursing, Midwifery and Allied Health Cathy Andrew said. “Our graduates are highly regarded nationally for their skills in health assessment and clinical decision making.”
The quality of the training facilities and tutors also attributed to the success of the nursing graduates, she said. “Our staff are very clinically focused. They all have strong clinical backgrounds combined with a passion for teaching the next generation of nurses.”
103 of the recent Ara graduates are now working on the Nursing Entrance to Practice (NET-P) graduate programme; mostly at the Canterbury District Health Board (CDHB), with a smaller number working at primary health providers such as Pegasus Health, Nurse Maude and continuing care of elderly.
Nationally, the biggest areas of employment for the 1359 graduates who passed the state nursing exams were surgical, medical and continuing care of elderly. Overall and in Canterbury, graduates worked in a wide range of areas from inpatient mental health to emergency & trauma, assessment & rehabilitation and child health.
The Ara Nursing, Midwifery and Allied Health programmes will move to the new Health Education and Research Facility (HREF) in the Te Papa Hauora/Health Precinct in 2018, which will further enrich relationships with CDHB and provide Ara nursing students with even greater access to professional practice facilities, practitioners and researchers.
Interested in studying Nursing at Ara? Read more here about Ara nursing programmes