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NorthTec and Jane Mander Retirement Village have combined forces to set up a centre of excellence for nurse education.
The retirement village, owned by Ryman Healthcare, and the Whangarei-based tertiary study institution have been working on the plan to set up a dedicated education unit (DEU) for the past three years.
The DEU was officially opened at a ceremony today.
Under the agreement the Whangarei retirement village will open its doors to up to 28 student nurses a year.
Jane Mander village manager Helen Franklin is a registered nurse with a background in training. She said the DEU meant the student nurses could work with staff and tutors on site to build practical experience in a supportive working environment.
“For the nurses it means they can get out of the classroom and into a real working environment in a controlled way. For residents it means an extra pair of hands to help, and our staff benefit by being exposed to students’ questions and the latest thinking in the way we care for people.’’
“We see it as a great chance for everyone involved to benefit.’’
Nursing lecturer Victoria Munro said NorthTec had DEUs at Whangarei Hospital but it was the first one set up at an aged care provider.
“It’s been a bit of a journey over the last three years but we are pleased to have succeeded in getting a DEU set up.’’
The partners had to prove that they were providing an appropriate environment for student nurses where they could get all the supervision and support they needed.
Victoria Munro said having access to a DEU in aged care meant the nurses could see at firsthand what great career opportunities aged care offered.
Helen Franklin said she hoped that working and training at Jane Mander meant that the passion staff had for their residents would rub off on the students.
“Often new graduate nurses do not want to work in aged care as it is not seen as exciting, we try to show them that working in the industry can be really exciting, and also very rewarding,’’ Helen Franklin said.
“Nurses that work in aged care have to be competent in so many areas, it is a speciality all by itself. We all need to promote a positive image of ageing and aged care in general as we will all need the services one day.’’
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