Tomorrow Whitireia will be celebrating the tenth anniversary of its Bachelor of Nursing Pacific programme.
Launched in 2004, the programme was designed specifically for Pacific students with a focus on the health needs of Pacific and non-Pacific communities in the New Zealand context. It was the first Bachelor of Nursing Pacific programme to be offered in New Zealand.
Ten years on, the programme has gone from strength to strength having seen over 382 students studying on the programme, 174 students having graduated with a Whitireia Bachelor of Nursing Pacific and qualified as registered nurses in New Zealand and 128 students currently studying towards their qualification.
This is a significant milestone for Whitireia said Dr Kathy Holloway, Dean, Faculty of Health at Whitireia. "The programme has been successful since its inception back in 2004 when it was developed by Dr Margaret Southwick, after recognising the need for such a programme."
Pacific people's health outcomes are poor in comparison to other populations in New Zealand. The idea behind the Bachelor of Nursing Pacific programme was to get Pacific nurses into practice to help improve those outcomes. Pacific nurses know how to work in Pacific communities, in terms of culture and they often speak the language of their patients. Building capacity and capability in the Pacific nursing workforce was and remains a key goal of the programme.
2004 saw around 26 students enrolling in the programme, today the number sits around 44 students enrolling in year one of the three year programme.
The programme acknowledges and supports Pacific learners for who they are. It teaches these learners about Pacific people's health, heritage and leadership. It also covers nursing knowledge, nursing practice, community, mental health and acute, nursing praxis, community development, lifespan development, social determinants of health, therapeutic communications, Te Tiriti o Waitangi, bioscience, applied bio nursing, reflective practice and public health/health promotion; all completed over a three year period.
The interest in the Bachelor of Nursing Pacific programme has remained strong said Wendy Scott, Academic Leader, Faculty of Health at Whitireia. "Well qualified Pacific nurses are sought after due to the high needs of Pacific people."
A number of invited guests will be joining Whitireia in celebrating this milestone tomorrow afternoon at the Porirua campus.
The Bachelor of Nursing Pacific is a three year, full-time programme offered at the Porirua Campus. Enrol now for study in 2015 and become a Pacific nurse serving the future health needs of Pacific patients and contribute to the development of a Pacific health workforce in New Zealand.