Nurse graduates being offered support

Lochani Kummara (left) practises taking a blood sample at a WellSouth Nurse Entry to Practice day...
Lochani Kummara (left) practises taking a blood sample at a WellSouth Nurse Entry to Practice day course. PHOTO: SUPPLIED
WellSouth Primary Health Network is fostering a supported pathway for nurse graduates into primary care.

As the primary health organisation for Otago and Southland, WellSouth has partnered with the Nurse Entry to Practice (NETP) teams at Health New Zealand Te Whatu Ora Southern to support graduates who have been employed in general practices in Southland and Otago.

WellSouth now also has a dedicated nurse educator to support the new nurses for their first year of employment.

One hundred new registered nurses commenced the NETP programmes in Southland and Otago in January this year, with eight now employed by general practices in urban and rural locations across the area.

On the second day of the NETP launch, these primary care nurses were welcomed to the WellSouth Dunedin office where they learnt clinical skills specific to working in primary care.

WellSouth professional nurse lead Dr Kate Norris said the first year of practice could be challenging as new nurses made the transition from student to registered nurse and navigated the expectations of professional practice.

"Support and mentorship are vital to ensure they feel confident and well supported during their first year of practice," she said.

"It’s important to us and the wider community that these nurses thrive in primary care and choose to stay."

Tomorrow, International Nurses Day, was a great time to recognise the role of nurses in the community, she said.

This year’s theme was about the economic power of care.

International Council of Nurses president Dr Pamela Cipriano said despite being the backbone of healthcare, nursing often faced financial constraints and societal undervaluation.

"We have seen time and again how financial crises often lead to budgetary restrictions in healthcare, typically at the expense of nursing services.

"This reductionist approach overlooks the substantial and often underemphasised economic value that nursing contributes to healthcare and society as a whole."

Dr Norris supported this.

"At WellSouth, we strive to support and enable nurses who work in primary care, through training, resourcing, support and advocacy, changing the way we think of nurses and nursing and supporting their position and impact in primary care."