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Ara first to achieve near perfect nursing employment rate

20 November, 2018

Ara has achieved near-perfect employment rates for registered nursing graduates. While Ara often tops the country for nursing employment rates, the result of 99% of graduates known to be in nursing employment is unprecedented in the sector.

The figures were released by the Nurse Education in the Tertiary Sector at the end of September.

Head of Nursing, Midwifery and Allied Health Cathy Andrew says it has never been a better time to be a nurse, especially in Canterbury. “Conditions are better than ever and the employment rates show that the jobs are there for our graduates to walk into. Those who are drawn to nursing will find their skills in demand, especially as older nurses are retiring and opportunities are opening up for newer nurses to specialise clinically or move into wider health management or education careers.”

82% of graduates across the country were known to be in nursing employment. AUT and Unitec had the next best results to Ara with 89%.

Ara also had the largest graduating group in the country with 91 graduates passing the state exams, followed by 75 at AUT and 52 at Wintec. The majority of nursing graduates across the country, 95, were employed in the surgical area.

Ara’s success is due to strong ties with health sector partners, most notably the Canterbury District Health Board (CDHB). The two organisations recently moved into a new health training and research facility Manawa in the Te Papa Hauora/Christchurch Health Precinct, along with the University of Canterbury, which will facilitate further collaboration in training and employment programmes.

The one Ara graduate who is not working in nursing was offered two jobs, Andrew said. “So we have achieved a really remarkable result. I am very proud of all of our graduates and our superb teaching staff, who have adapted to a new facility and partners and delivered consistently excellent training to our students at the same time.”

Enrolled nurse employment figures were reported for the first time this year. Ara again led the sector in the July 2018 Enrolled Nurse New Graduate Destinations report with 77% of graduates gaining employment, followed by UCOL at 67% and Otago Polytechnic at 55%. The sector average was 50%.

Ara graduated 22 of the sector’s 96 new Enrolled Nurses for 2018.

Enrolled nurses complete an 18 month diploma, compared to the three year Bachelor of Nursing for Registered Nurses. Their main areas of employment were mental health and continuing care of the elderly.