During lockdown, Zoom online became the norm for most people when it came to work and study.
This wasn’t any different for our nursing students who had the additional challenge of learning most of their profession online throughout the pandemic.
As hard as that was, after battling frustrations with log on connections, juggling distractions at home, and learning outside of a clinical environment, we celebrated 129 students in taking their first step into their health careers as newly qualified nurses.
One-hundred and seventeen of the registered nurses (87 from Capital, Coast and 30 from Hutt Valley), were all part of the Nurse Entry to Practice (NETP) programme, while 12 were part of the Enrolled Nurse Supported Entry into Practise (ENSIPP) programme. They will be working across Capital, Coast and Hutt Valley hospitals, Primary Health Care and in Aged and Residential Care settings.
Among the 129 nurses are 22 Māori and Pasifika nursing graduates, whose insights into their communities’ views on health and healing will help improving the health outcomes and wellbeing of Māori and Pasifika patients we serve.
The nurses’ strength and resilience in overcoming the difficulty of studying online was widely praised by our staff.
Acting Chief Nursing Officer Claire Jennings said in welcoming the graduates to the organisation.
“This group of graduates were the first true ‘COVID cohort’, many of whom started their programme of learning at the same time as the first lockdown. To see those starting their careers, despite what the last three years has thrown at them, is a testament to their commitment to the nursing profession and we welcome them into our whānau.” says Claire.
Capital, Coast NETP and Cultural Support Nurse Coordinator Phoenix Ahomiro said these nurses have achieved what most others wouldn’t have.
“These graduates are the ones who had to go through COVID. They’ve learnt in an environment that most of our nurses on the floor right now wouldn’t have survived. They learnt how to be nurses on Zoom. For all the resilience and strength to get through it to actually be standing outside [Wellington Hospital’s] arches on day one, I’m proud of every single one of them. I really cannot wait to see them flourish into the nurses they’re going to be.”
Hutt Valley NETP and PG Funding Nurse Coordinator Zoe Arthurs said she was excited to see the new batch of nurses utilise their skills in their settings.
“We are very excited to have 30 NETP nurses starting with Hutt Valley this week. These nurses have worked extremely hard over the past three years to finish their nursing degrees over the COVID-19 pandemic. It is extremely exciting to have them join us and bring all the skills and knowledge they have developed during this time. We as a NETP team, along with the CNMs and CNEs, look forward to working alongside each NETP nurse as they transition into competent registered nurses.”
The next NETP intake for Capital, Coast and Hutt Valley will be in August/September - find out more here