THE first nurses will graduate from Te Whare Wananga o Awanuiarangi later this year.
Twenty-one students are currently in the final year of the wananga’s bachelor of health sciences Maori (nursing) programme.
The fully accredited degree programme, Te Ohanga Mataora Paetahi, replicates a traditional bachelor of nursing in its clinical programme but also incorporates a cultural focus and aims to produce registered nurses who can engage and work effectively with both Maori families and communities.
With the number of registered Maori nurses in New Zealand disproportionate to the Maori population, the course is founded on values that embrace a wider cultural response to nursing.
Currently, 75 students are taking part in the programme which took its first intake in 2013.
As well as core and clinical course components, students study strategies and practices relevant to meeting the needs of Maori, and Te Reo is also learnt.
Director of nursing, and the woman at the helm of the venture, is Ngaira Harker. She said the last four years had been dedicated to implementing, and ensuring the success of the new programme, and to building strong relationships with the district health board.
“The support and strength of those relationships are vital,” she said. “We’re aiming to produce a new type of nurse. One who can more effectively reflect and meet the needs of both Maori and non-Maori communities, and we need to work closely with the health board to implement that in the most effective way”.
She said the programme, was open to all – Maori and non-Maori, female and male – and prepared students to provide health services to all cultures.
Approximately half of the students attended a pre-nursing bridging course at Awanuiarangi prior to the degree.
The next bridging course begins at the wananga on July 17. The six-month course helps equip those interested in nursing to prepare for tertiary study. Similar bridging courses are also held for teaching, and the humanity subjects, and in all cases, are free.
Enrolments will open soon for the bachelor of health sciences Maori (Nursing) 2018 programme.