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Damien O'Connor

30 October, 2006

Nursing scholarships for rural & primary health care

Nursing scholarships aim to build rural and primary health care skills and capacity

The Government is again offering substantial scholarships to eligible New Zealand registered nurses with the overall aim of developing capacity and skills in rural and primary health care.

Applications are invited for two types of scholarship. The Nurse Practitioner (Rural) Scholarships will assist experienced rural nurses to complete their study requirements for approval to the Nursing Council as Primary Health Care Nurse Practitioners (Rural) with prescribing rights. The funding would be used to support the nurse while released on study leave for one year’s full time study in 2007.

The Primary Health Care Nursing Post Graduate Scholarships will support nurses currently practising in primary health care settings to undertake post-graduate nursing courses in primary health care in 2007.

Overall funding for the scholarships totals $280,000, with individual scholarships worth up to $40,000 (GST inclusive), plus a contribution to travel and accommodation expenses.

Rural Affairs Minister and Associate Minister of Health Damien O’Connor said the overall aim of the scholarships is to build capacity and skill levels.

The rural scholarships were aimed at improving access to quality health services for people living in more remote parts of the country, Mr O'Connor said.

"Nurse practitioners with prescribing competencies will make a huge contribution to the rural health workforce. This scheme recognises that, and it also recognises that nurses in rural areas sometimes have difficulties accessing nursing programmes."

The rural scholarships were first introduced in 2003 and since then there have been 31 recipients. Nine rural scholarships were awarded last year, some of them part-time.

Closing dates for applications for these scholarships for those wishing to undertake study in 2007 is Wednesday 8 November 2006.

  • Damien O'Connor
  • Rural Affairs