Graduate nurses and doctors swell Taranaki front line staff

1 February 2023

Frontline health care staff at Te Whatu Ora in Taranaki are welcoming 34 graduate nurses as well as 16 first year doctors for the start of 2023.

The graduate nurses range in age from 21 to 50 years, and have just graduated from WITT, ARA Institute of Canterbury, WINTEC, Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology, Southern Institute of Technology, and UCOL in Whanganui, says Gill Campbell, Te Whatu Ora interim Hospital Lead – Hospital and Specialist Services in Taranaki.

“As one of the highest intakes of graduate nurses to Taranaki hospitals in recent years, we welcome these new graduates to start their careers within the District,” says Campbell.

“It’s wonderful to see the range of people that have chosen nursing as a career.”

The 16 new doctors, also known as house officers, are among 504 to have started work at Te Whatu Ora hospitals across Aotearoa.

“We’re also really pleased that we have 18 year five medical students starting with us this week on their internship as part of their training to become doctors,” says Campbell. “They will receive practical experience required for their degree as well as help our medical teams with the high numbers of inpatient presentations we are continuing to experience. An added bonus is that once they graduate, they often want to return to work in our hospitals for the Taranaki lifestyle they enjoyed during their training.”

In the coming fortnight, Campbell also expects 20 new Registrars to join. Registrars are doctors that are in at least their third-year post graduation. Many are participating in specialist training programmes.

In addition to the graduate nurses and doctors, across the motu Te Whatu Ora is actively working to improve staff shortages with such initiatives as its Return to Nursing Workforce Support Fund, which removes financial barriers for nurses who wish to return to nursing but need to complete additional training due to time spent out of the nursing workforce.

The fund supports New Zealand-based nurses without an annual practising certificate, and overseas nurses working as a healthcare assistant or support worker in New Zealand, by providing up to $5,000 to assist with the costs of returning to practice.

More than 225 applications have been approved since the fund was launched. A new funding round recently opened, and applications will be reviewed monthly, says Campbell.

“We are very keen to help nurses wishing to return with their applications to join us at Te Whatu Ora in Taranaki. Anyone considering a return can contact the hospital to talk it through,” says Campbell.
This Fund also complements the international recruitment campaign that Te Whatu Ora runs called ‘Make a Difference Somewhere Different’. The campaign links people to, where people can learn more about living in New Zealand, and how our International Recruitment Centre can help them. There has already been some great initial numbers with over 9 million ad impressions, over 40,000 visits to our landing page and 150 direct enquires to the international recruitment team.

As of 16 January, Te Whatu Ora has received 324 candidate applications from the international recruitment campaign, and 113 new applications through the international generalist nursing campaign. The campaign page has been visited over 260,000 times.

Last updated: Wednesday, February 1, 2023

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