21 December 2001 Speech Notes
Inagural Whanganui Graduate Nursing programme graduation ceremony, Whanganui Hospital
PLEASE NOTE: THIS SPEECH IS TO BE DELIVERED BY JILL PETTIS MP FOR WHANGANUI
Tena koutou, tena koutou, tena koutou katoa.
Thank you for the opportunity to talk with you today and to share in the celebrations of the first year of the Whanganui
Graduate Nurses Programme.
Today’s ceremony is the culmination of a lot of hard work. It is an achievement for the graduates and all of the people
who have participated in, or contributed to, the programme.
I am heartened by what I have heard and been told about the programme. It is a positive development for Whanganui and
the wider region.
I understand that the programme has been very successful indeed and that 7 of the 8 graduates have found work in the
Whanganui District Health Board and will be staying in Whanganui.
That’s a great result for the graduates themselves and the Whanganui community generally.
I am pleased to note that the Whanganui Graduate Nursing Programme is based on the Ministry of Health’s specification
for nationally consistent first year of nursing clinical practice programmes.
Early next year the Ministry of Health will be piloting a national framework for the first year of nursing clinical
practice in three or four locations around New Zealand.
This framework has been developed in recognition of the fact that new graduate education needs a unique curriculum that
develops new graduate nurses practice and thinking skills to effectively practise as a registered nurse.
This pilot programme recognises that during the first year of nursing clinical practice new graduates need an
environment that allows them to ground the teaching and learning in practice experience.
This requires a process that develops confidence and effectiveness in their nursing practice, independence in clinical
reasoning, decision-making, and acceptance of the responsibility of the registered nurse.
The first year of nursing clinical practice pilot programmes will integrate the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi
into practice to promote equity of outcomes for Maori and facilitate practice in a culturally safe manner with all
All nurses need to be culturally competent. Cultural supervision recognises that nursing practice takes place within a
social context. More specifically, it is recognised that for new Maori graduates there is an important relationship
between the clinical application of knowledge and skill, the experience of health in a Maori context and their cultural
These relationships should be explored and reconciled with the assistance of a supervisor who is both clinically and
culturally competent in Te Ao Maori.
The role of the supervisor is to help the new Maori graduate understand and integrate their role and responsibilities as
a clinician and expectations regarding kawa, tikanga, and te matauranga hauora.
It is anticipated that the introduction of nationally consistent first year of nursing clinical practice programmes will
greatly assist with the retention of our new graduate nurses, very much like the Whanganui Graduate Nursing Programme
The challenge of nursing
The profession has undergone many changes and is a very different today than at the time of the Nurses Registration Act
in 1901. However, many of the fundamental aspects are the same.
People get sick and nurses remain at the frontline of providing care and improving patient outcomes. There is increasing
evidence that nurses make a positive difference to the health outcomes of patients.
For far too long we have paid insufficient regard to this, and too many people have considered that this kind of
professional care can be done by anyone.
Nursing is a profession that demands among many other attributes, intelligence, courage, compassion and decision making
The nursing profession also continues to produce strong and dedicated individuals who pursue nursing as a vocation, as
well as a career. I am sure many of you share that sentiment – the pride and aroha in this room is obvious.
It is an exciting time to be part of the nursing profession in New Zealand. The last ten years give a good illustration
of how rapid change can be.
We have seen the introduction of nurse led community services and initiatives, the introduction and rapid growth of
information technology and its impact on the delivery of care to patients, and the development of new medical
Recently, there has also been the introduction of the role of the Nurse Practitioner in New Zealand’s health sector. The
role of Nurse Practitioner will allow nurses to offer innovative ways of addressing health needs including prescribing
In addition, the Government’s Primary Health Care Strategy released in February this year will provide many exciting
opportunities for registered nurses to practise as part of a primary health care team.
The vision of the strategy includes that the primary health care services will focus on better health for a population
and primary health care nursing will be critical to the implementation of the strategy.
Through all of this nurses have been reassessing and evolving their roles, adapting to these changes and incorporating
them into their practice to ensure quality health care is delivered to all patients.
Congratulations on your efforts and I wish your continuing success in nursing.
Tena koutou, tena koutou, tena koutou katoa.