Enrolled nurse training will be available South Island-wide next year. Three of the seven nursing schools offering an 18-month enrolled nurse diploma are based in the South Island, where there has been strong support for the role since enrolled nurse training was first restarted in the early 2000s.

The Southern District Health Board, where enrolled nurses (ENs) are about 10 per cent of the nursing workforce, and Canterbury DHB, where ENs are 7.5 per cent of the workforce, stand out, with nationwide enrolled nurses making up about five per cent of the active New Zealand nursing workforce.

From next year Ara Institute of Canterbury, which first started offering an enrolled nurse qualification back in 2002 when it was CPIT, is to work in partnership with the South Island’s five DHBs to offer an EN programme to West Coast, Timaru, Ashburton, Oamaru, Nelson and Marlborough-based students.

Karyn Bousefield, director of nursing for the West Coast DHB, said the Coast had a long-standing history of utilising and valuing the EN workforce and was looking forward to having more students and graduates locally. She said Ara’s new distance programme meant it could collectively create a pipeline to support the development of a future EN workforce for the Coast.

Rose Mitchell, Ara’s EN programme leader, said the regional students would be required to come to Christchurch for the first two weeks of the programme and for a further four week-long block courses held over the 18-month programme. For the rest of the programme they will study online from home and complete six clinical placements in a range of local settings with the support of a clinical tutor.

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