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Thread: nursing competence assessment course

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Default nursing competence assessment course

    Hi!

    My name is Anita and I have been living in NZ since 1 year now. I have a question regarding the compentence assessment course which a Nurse has to do here in NZ if you are from another country to become a NZ Registered Nurse.

    Has anybody on this forum already done this 8 weeks course? I will start next October at UniTec in Auckland and was just wondering if anybody could tell me about their experience?! Is is a lot to study (which books are they using?)and how are the 5 weeks which you have to work in a hospital? I am a bit nervous as I have not been working as a nurse since 4 years now!

    Any information would be greatly appriciated!!

    Many thanks!!

    Anita
    Internship Auckland Feb - May 2008
    Back to Austria June 2008
    Visitor Visa applied June 13 2008
    Visitor Visa approved July 16 2008 till March 2009
    Work permit lodged November 12 2008
    Work permit approved January 29 2009 till 29/01/2010
    Engaged to a Maori-Fiji-Scotish Man since April 2009
    Getting married 2/01/2010 in Austria!!

    Permanent Residence lodged 21/08/2009
    PR approved May 2010


  2. #2
    1happywoman's Avatar
    1happywoman is offline Senior Member
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    I did the 6 week nursing competency assessment programme through Wintec and the Waikato DHB, just finishing the course on May 8, 2009. I was a licensed, registered nurse in the US for 32 years, never been out of nursing! However, I have not worked in a hospital full time for about 20 years, although I did do a few casual weekend shifts five or six years ago.

    I thought the course was pretty easy. It's basically so you can learn "the kiwi way" of doing things. In my programme, we spent the first two weeks on the Wintec campus in classes. Then we had four weeks of clinical experience. For me, that culminated in an interview and job offer. The assessment programme I was in was a combination of "return to nursing" folks, as well as foreign nurses. There was a wide variety of experience in our class of about two dozen. You will be surprised how fast it all comes back to you! There really isn't a lot of classroom material. We were given all the reading materials we needed for the classroom portion - didn't have to purchase any text books. The clinical part was great - I had a wonderful preceptor who still helps me out a lot when I am not sure about how they do things here!

    An example of doing things "the kiwi way" (and this is just Waikato hospital): When you hang blood, you put up a 100ml of NS to flush the tubing, take that off, hang the blood and run it through a pump. When the blood is done, you put on another 100ml bag of NS and run that through to flush the blood through the line. Where I came from, we used a "Y" set up with a 250 ml NS bag, which primed the line, then the blood infused, and the NS was opened again to flush the line at the end of the transfusion. At Waikato, medications are dispensed from a dispensary on each ward, and where I came from, the pharmacy does unit dose - provides enough medicine for every 24 hours for each patient. Here, we mix all our own antibiotics, in the US, the pharmacy mixes them under a hood and sends them to the floor for each patient. So, its just learning how the hospitals function.

    By all means, don't stress over this course - enjoy it! (For me, the biggest stress was having to fork over the money for it - $3500! - because I'm not a permanent resident - yet.) You will learn a good deal about the Maori culture (which I am sure you have already learned a good deal about if you have lived in NZ for a year.) But, you will find that the illnesses are the same, people react the same way, treatment is about the same. Of course, it has been hardest for me to understand how s-l-o-w things move here! (I was amazed to read about the first laparoscopic cholecystectomy being done in New Zealand just a few days ago,and I can't remember when I last heard or knew of anyone who had an open cholecystectomy, and NOT a lap cholecystectomy where I came from.)

    I really enjoyed taking care of patients again, using my assessment skills again and finding that I had really missed being away from it for so long.
    Arrived in Auckland on August 6, 2008.Now live in Kawakawa with my kiwi partner.
    I just started working at Bay of Islands Hospital at the beginning of December 2009.
    Work permit renewed and good until June 2010
    EOI submitted and selected, case manager assigned and ITA received. PR application submitted 28/08/09
    approved in principle 26/01/10, PR granted and received 19/03/10

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Default thanks

    Hi Happywoman!

    Many thanks for your reply! I have been working for only 2 years full time in a hospital and for 1 year in a resthome back in Austria from the age 19 to 22. After that I went back to Uni for another 3 years for a degree in health promotion and this is actually more what I plan to do. I am now working in the primary health care sector and really enjoying it. I am part of the team who implements the Before School Check (maybe you know this is a check for 4 year olds before they go to school) in the Auckland region. I think I would really enjoy working in different health promotion projects in the community. I do not really want to go back into hospital anymore, I need to be out there:)

    But I still have to do the 4 weeks internship when I do the course. So you are pretty lucky because I have to pay 4700 dollars for my course here in Auckland but I think it is worth it, and luckily I am paying with Euros:)

    So where will you work, which ward? And is the patient number per nurse really low here in NZ? In Austria I often was responsible for 28 patients when I had night shift.

    Thanks so much, Anita
    Internship Auckland Feb - May 2008
    Back to Austria June 2008
    Visitor Visa applied June 13 2008
    Visitor Visa approved July 16 2008 till March 2009
    Work permit lodged November 12 2008
    Work permit approved January 29 2009 till 29/01/2010
    Engaged to a Maori-Fiji-Scotish Man since April 2009
    Getting married 2/01/2010 in Austria!!

    Permanent Residence lodged 21/08/2009
    PR approved May 2010


  4. #4
    1happywoman's Avatar
    1happywoman is offline Senior Member
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    As a result of doing my clinical rotation on Ward 14, cardiovascular and thoracic, I got a job offer which I readily accepted and have happily been working on that ward since June 8th. I can only speak for a couple of wards at one hospital, about nurse/patient ratios. I worked as a Health Care Assistant on orthopedics, and the usual ratio was about 11 to 14 patients per 2 nurses (with a HCA) which could be a very heavy load. (You could easily have 1 or 2 confused elderly people with fractured hips, maybe a person with a spinal injury which would require a minimum of 4 people to turn, people with joint infections requiring multiple antibiotic infusions, etc.) On the cardiovascular and thoracic ward, on the day shift, the usual ratio is 3-4 pts. per nurse, unless you were in the "unit" where you had post op surgery patients just out of ICU with chest tubes, drips, on monitors, etc and then it was 1-2 per nurse.

    I was "out there" for about 2 decades and now realize I miss so much about hospital nursing! (I was a nurse/case manager for an insurance company for about 10 years, and was into home care for about 10 years before that.) I've found, now that I am older and without children to care for, I don't mind working different shifts or working weekends.
    Arrived in Auckland on August 6, 2008.Now live in Kawakawa with my kiwi partner.
    I just started working at Bay of Islands Hospital at the beginning of December 2009.
    Work permit renewed and good until June 2010
    EOI submitted and selected, case manager assigned and ITA received. PR application submitted 28/08/09
    approved in principle 26/01/10, PR granted and received 19/03/10

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