Otago Polytechnic

A group of internationally qualified nurses have unpacked their bags and started an exciting new chapter on their journey towards nursing registration in New Zealand.

Five nurses from India are enrolled in the Certificate in Professional Practice for Registered Nurses (CAP), a competence assessment programme at Otago Polytechnic’s School of Nursing.

Entitled to enter New Zealand as critical health workers, they are completing an eight-week programme at Otago Polytechnic to complete the qualification, before being put forward to the Nursing Council of New Zealand for registration.

In addition, the group also includes a New Zealand-registered nurse who is returning to practice after an extended time away from nursing, raising a family.

“We have done this programme for more than 15 years and we produce excellent graduates,” Mr Ian Crabtree, Head of College - Health, says.

“We had our first cohort back in October last year post-lockdown. They are allowed into the country, because nursing is still on the essential skills list.

“We have had great support for this programme from the Southern District Health Board and other external agencies, especially our aged residential care partners, for whom many of these students end up working when they have finished the programme.”

Mr Crabtree says the international nurses have been attracted to Dunedin for a range of reasons.

“Otago Polytechnic is well recognized for the depth and strength of its nursing academics. But Otago Polytechnic – and the wider community – benefits from these nurses, too.

“Their experience of already being a registered nurse adds values to New Zealand, including in some areas that can be hard to recruit.

“At last count, the Nursing Council relies on approximately 25%-27% of international nurses coming to get registered in New Zealand.”

All of the cohort have completed (and paid for) managed isolation and quarantine. They have been  Covid-tested at days 0, 3 and 12 (under MIQ) and Otago Polytechnic requires them to undergo an additional test .

“We re-test on day 18-20 of them being here,” Mr Crabtree emphasizes.

“They can only come to New Zealand if they have a place on a CAP programme and received approval from the Nursing Council of NZ.”

Geoffrey Harvey, who leads the Otago Polytechnic’s School of Nursing Competence Assessment Programme for Registered Nurses, says the cohort should be acknowledged for the many sacrifices they have made.

“These people have gone through so much to get here. There is a significant financial commitment. They have also made a conscious decision to leave families, friends and the familiar in order to enhance their own futures, both personally and professionally.

“And New Zealand benefits from experienced, highly qualified nurses who are respected, compassionate and highly competent in clinical settings.

“They provide an excellent standard of nursing care, both in the aged residential care sector and the hospitals.”

Read the Otago Daily Times article


Published on 23 Mar 2021

Orderdate: 23 Mar 2021
Expiry: 30 Jun 2021