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Postgraduate Study for Registered Nurses

With awareness comes choice………………..

With education comes awareness of where you might take your nursing career. For many nurses, gaining registration is just the beginning of a career of life-long learning. Kathy Holloway explains again the options and the reasons for engaging in post registration study.

Why bother with postgraduate study?

For most health professionals, postgraduate study is vital to career advancement. Nurses and their employers can see it as an investment in their professional future. Postgraduate nursing education internationally is seen as an important aspect of career development and lifelong learning. Postgraduate education has a positive impact on the health outcomes for clients through evidence based care provision – sound like your kind of practice?

All very well you may say but what about…….

  • I already have a student loan. Why would I want to add to that?
  • I just want to get on and have a life now I’ve finished my degree.
  • I came nursing to be a nurse not a student.
  • I may not get any more pay so why bother.
  • I’ve been nursing for 10,15, 20+ years and haven’t need to so why start now
  • I’ve been nursing for 15, 20+ years and am too old to start now.

These things may be your reality however new realities must be considered. If you are aiming at a career as a nurse anywhere in the New Zealand workforce you will be required to maintain competency and the evidence that proves your competency. One way of providing that evidence is by continuing to engage in ongoing professional development in the form of an education programme. If you are heading in the direction of becoming a Nurse Practitioner you will need to plan your clinically focused Masters study.  Other compelling reasons for ongoing education are that if you are involved in education it means:

  • You can learn to understand something you’ve always known in a new way
  • You can practice knowing you are informed by the latest evidence
  • You have the opportunity to meet with peers to discuss your ideas.
  • You have an excuse to take over the home computer.
  • You can legitimately get your family to pick up after themselves.
  • You have an excuse to go to the library to read and think
  • You can progress in your organisation and make a contribution to health care in New Zealand.
  • You can have your exploration of knowledge facilitated by nurse leaders.
  • You can attend conferences because you will know when they are on and who is presenting at them.
  • You can move up in the professional development recognition pathway giving you access to a wider range of career choices in nursing.
  • You can be a role model for your children.
  • You can actively participate in being the best person and registered nurse you can be.
  • The bottom line is you have more choices……………

So why not go for it ?

Polytechnics and Universities – often in collaboration with heath providers, offer an ever-increasing range of education programmes that lead to higher qualifications for nurses in New Zealand either by distance, online or block courses. For more information check out the NETS website links to all educational institutions in New Zealand (as well as other nursing groups and a number of career related sites). If you are ready for this stimulating challenge make sure you check out the best options for you and your intended career direction.

That is:

  • An education provider that offers recognised accredited qualifications that are transferable and gain credit towards a higher degree (check them out on the NZQA website)
  • A place that supports you and your learning needs
  • A place that offers tutorial, library and computer access suitable for a nurse in the workforce.

The challenge that some nurses’ face is the identification of just what is available in their area of interest. As a student and a consumer you need to know what the programmes offered will give you in terms of qualification, credits towards a higher programme and nursing competencies. Talk to the nurse academics offering the programmes and other students. Remember with awareness comes choice...........

More questions?? Check out FAQ's for postgraduate study

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