NorthTec’s nursing department farewelled its latest group of successful students at an emotional ceremony held on Te Puna o Te Mātauranga marae at the Raumanga campus.
The 40 new nurses included 29 students from the three-year Bachelor of Nursing and 11 from the 18-month Diploma in Enrolled Nursing.
The new Enrolled Nurses were the first to graduate from this programme at NorthTec since 2015, when a previous version of the diploma was taught. NorthTec began delivering the new Diploma in Enrolled Nursing in 2020, in response to requests from the Northland District Health Board.
All were sent on their way at a whakawatea attended by whānau, friends and nursing and support staff, and were welcomed by NorthTec Te Amorangi, Taipari Munro.
Nursing tutor, Michael McGivern, told the group: “You are entering the next stage of your career in a profession that has often been referred to as being honourable and noble in nature. Having the opportunity to provide care to an individual for however long is indeed a privilege and this professional relationship is largely based on trust and respect.
“Some of you will be feeling nervous and apprehensive during these next few months and even years which is completely normal, but in the words of Mahatma Gandhi, ‘The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.’ “
He reminded them that the medical profession is about continued learning and development: “All of you deserve to have a good break after committing yourselves to three years of study, but it is important to always remember that we owe it to our patients to be safe, competent, and caring practitioners.
“Ongoing professional education is not just about gaining further qualifications, it is the ability to seek out clinical knowledge and experience that will enable us to deliver evidence-based care which is in the best interests of those whose care is entrusted to us.”
He farewelled the new nurses with the words of Florence Nightingale: “We should never consider ourselves finished, we should be learning all of our lives”.
Beth Cooper, Programme Coordinator for the Enrolled Nursing diploma congratulated the group and said: “This is the first time that we’ve had Enrolled Nursing at NorthTec for many years, so it’s super exciting to be here today. I’m sure you will all do really well – we’ve had a fantastic 18 months with you.”
Remembering how the class was only a couple of days into the programme when the country went into lockdown last year, she said they had all risen to the challenge: “Well done on getting through to today. We are immensely proud of your achievements and you are the leaders who have laid the path for others who will follow.”