Canterbury nurses' bright future

Canterbury nurses' bright future

Strong connections with industry keeps CPIT’s Department of Nursing at the top of the field. CPIT’s Bachelor of Nursing regularly tops the country’s state nursing exams pass rate and graduate employment rates, thanks to the close partnership with Canterbury District Health Board (CDHB) and other health sector organisations.

CPIT nursing graduates are in demand. 86% of CPIT’s nursing graduates from November 2013 found employment (the national employment average was 69%). The year before 92% of graduates from CPIT found work, compared to 75% of graduates across the country.

CPIT Head of the Department of Nursing and Human Services Dr Cathy Andrewsays the future looks bright for nurses In Canterbury, particularly given the development of the new Health Precinct. “The level of collaboration is quite impressive and from our point of view as a leading nursing education provider, the benefits to our nursing and health students will be significant.

“We already work closely with the CDHB and the sector in general, but to be part of the new facilities will further consolidate those partnerships and open up potential new opportunities for our students.”

Mary Gordon, Executive Director of Nursing for Canterbury DHB is herself a CPIT nursing graduate. She says working closely with CPIT ensures that nursing training in Canterbury remains at a high standard to meet shortages in the workforce, ensure a sustainable health system for the region and support Christchurch’s recovery.

“Nurses are vital to our recovery. But we need to future proof that workforce more than ever today because our existing workforce is ageing. We are fortunate that we have been proactive in providing a supportive learning environment for student nurses, whilst they are training, and then we look to provide employment across the Canterbury health system, as well as support our young nurses to consolidate their practice. These young nurses will be our senior experienced nurses in the future.”

The variety of nursing roles makes this profession an exciting career choice, she says. “We are often told that young people will change their careers more often than ever before. For those choosing nursing, they can do this and remain in nursing by changing their area of work such as from hospitals to General Practice or district nursing or from working in medical ward verses surgical or with children. Nurses can have many careers within the one career.” 

Canterbury has had a long history of ensuring new graduate nurses are well supported in their first year of practice. In the last three years more than 466 new graduates have signed on to the Canterbury DHB’s Nursing Entry to Practice or New Entry to Specialty Practice Mental Health and Addiction nursing programmes – with 464 graduating from the programmes and many moving into full time nursing roles in the Canterbury Health System.