SIT | Te Pūkenga has recently reviewed and updated its postgraduate papers in nursing and healthcare, which includes the development and addition of a Master of Nursing Science.
Acting Head of School of Nursing (SoN), Karyn Madden, says the rationale behind the implementation of the new papers was through consultation with stakeholders and the requirements they have for their staff.
“We have regular meetings with industry, and through these conversations with academic and clinical stakeholders, they were saying they would support a review and update on postgrad papers.”
Also, SIT management were aware that nurses were having to go outside the region to gain their postgraduate qualifications and were committed to making the necessary papers available at SIT to address local healthcare needs.
The relevance and success of the postgraduate papers can be seen in the numbers enrolling, she said. “There has been a good uptake of students,” in semester two when Health Services Management and Research Paradigms for Nursing Science were offered for the first time.
Mrs Madden said the level eight Research Paradigms for Nursing Science was developed to ensure the students have an appropriate foundation in research, which is critical in ensuring success in the level 9 research papers.
“It’s the precursor paper for the Master of Nursing Science, so it’s a good indicator of those intending to commit to the new qualification. There’s been an immediate response from students who’ve enrolled in the level eight paper, in preparation for the Master’s.”
A considerable amount of work had been done over two to three years to develop the Master’s programme. “It’s not an easy process, it’s quite lengthy, it takes quite a while to achieve all the requirements; it has to be well thought out and comprehensively tested,” Mrs Madden said.
A survey is carried out to assess need, there must be support from industry, the programme material goes through a number of stages for approval, including NZQA, Advisory Boards, and feedback from stakeholders (clinical placements). “It must be sustainable for industry requirements and academic requirements as well.”
Also in the pipeline, SIT was intending to offer more specialised papers such as paediatrics and critical care, on a rotational basis, for example, every second year, depending on the demand.
Mrs Madden said SoN was very grateful to a supportive SIT management; their backing allowed them to stay at the forefront of healthcare education. They also enjoyed the positive and productive partnership they have with local healthcare stakeholders.
Linda Ryan, Director of Nursing at Southland Hospital, acknowledged the Te Whatu Ora Southern – SIT collaboration strengthened ties with their Nursing professional partners. “[SIT] are aligned and committed to our current and future generations of Nurses as they embark on their academic learning and expand the body of knowledge on a national and international level.”
Ms Ryan stated the current range of postgraduate-level qualifications available at SIT helped to meet needs from the increasing challenges in the complexity of patient care. “These courses develop knowledge, skills and professional confidence by integrating theory, practice and research to improve nursing care and patient outcomes.”
Offering postgraduate programmes alongside the Bachelor of Nursing “will strengthen the overall nursing workforce. The Master of Nursing Science also provides a pathway to career advancement,” Ms Ryan added. It can lead to management roles, specialised positions and positions of leadership.