Health sector welcomes dual qualification initiative

Health sector welcomes dual qualification initiative

Christchurch will be the only place in New Zealand where degree graduates can study for a Bachelor of Nursing and a Masters of Health Science simultaneously thanks to a new collaboration between CPIT, University of Canterbury (UC) and Canterbury District Health Board (CCHB).

The new study pathway will be available in 2014.

Mary Gordon, CDHB Head of Nursing, welcomed the new pathway as “a positive step forward. The Canterbury DHB fully supports and welcomes this initiative,” she said.

“It allows the student to study at a higher level and build on their previous undergraduate qualifications to achieve their nursing preparation and training.”

The new pathway is designed to fast track careers in the health sector, allowing students to enter the workforce earlier, CPIT Chief Executive Kay Giles said.

“To complete these qualifications separately would take five years. However in this pathway, people who already have a Bachelors degree can finish both qualifications in two and a half years with competency in both practical clinical experience and theoretical research contributions.”

Nursing graduate image

In the new pathway, students will be able to write their master’s dissertation with the benefit of the practical experience earned while working on clinical placements in various settings including mental health, intensive care and aged care sectors.

This combination of qualifications offers the fastest and most effective way to combine the necessary skills and competencies to be registered as a nurse by the Nursing Council of New Zealand while earning a postgraduate qualification which can assist career progression.

Acceptance to the programme will be subject to the standard requirements of CPIT and UC for the Bachelor of Nursing and Master in Health Science.

“Discussions about an innovative approach to nursing education between CDBH, CPIT and UC began in 2011. Following the Canterbury earthquakes the government urged tertiary education providers in the Canterbury region to work together, and the conjoint pathway project was identified as an ideal opportunity for collaboration which would also directly benefit the health industry,” Dr Rod Carr, Vice-Chancellor of University of Canterbury, said.

“In addition to the six majors offered in the Bachelor of Health Sciences at UC, this double degree option increases the range of applied and allied health programmes delivered by UC.“

CPIT recently celebrated 40 years of nursing and is recognised as a leader in nursing training with students consistently achieving 100% pass rates for the Registered Nursing exams. The school has strong industry collaboration with 96% of graduates employed after graduation.