Bumper intake as WITT celebrates International Nurses Day

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Celebrating International Nurses Day this week was extra special for WITT’s ākonga and kaimahi, with the highest intake in the Bachelor of Nursing this year in more than a decade.

International Nurses Day is May 12 (Sunday) and marks the anniversary of legendary nurse Florence Nightingale’s birth (1820-1910). The English social reformer and founder of modern nursing made her mark training nurses during the Crimean War.

Helen Lelean, WITT’s deputy director of health and nursing, says International Nurses Day is a celebration of the vital work of nurses everywhere. Coordinated by the International Council of Nurses (ICN), the theme this year is ‘Our Nurses. Our Future. The economic power of care.’ Its campaign aims to “reshape perceptions and demonstrate how strategic investment in nursing can bring considerable economic and societal benefits.”

WITT’s current Year 1 intake is full for the first time in more than a decade, with more than 75, mostly domestic, enrolled in the three-year Bachelor of Nursing degree and 20 in the 18-month Diploma in Enrolled Nursing. In total there are 200 ākonga across Year 1, 2 and 3 of the Bachelor of Nursing programme.

Helen thinks the boost in numbers is partly a post-COVID effect and a reflection of the high cost of living deterring students from leaving the region.

Nursing students are often motivated through their own or their loved ones’ experiences of nursing care, which fosters a desire to care for others, she says.

Helen, who has been a nurse and nurse educator in the UK, Australia, and New Zealand for more than 30 years, was inspired in her career path through working in a rest home caring for the older person, which she found highly rewarding.

Student nurses are, she says, often surprised at the diversity of settings where they can practice nursing, from hospitals and general practice clinics to mental health, sexual health, community nursing as well as prisons, schools, work sites, cruise ships and humanitarian aid organisations.

Nursing staff and students celebrated on campus this week with cupcakes, handmade cards with caring messages and spot prizes.

Photo caption (from left): Tutors Trish Sison (Registered Nurse), Andrea Nicholson (Registered Nurse), Bryar Lovell (science teacher) celebrating International Nurses Day by sharing cupcakes with their students.


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