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Course content

Designed for registered nurses, these programmes will develop your knowledge, skills and professional confidence to integrate theory, practice and research to improve your nursing care and patient outcomes.

Responsive to current demands of practice, our courses will give you a deeper understanding of pathophysiological concepts and current nursing practice issues.

Develop your ability to carry out advanced assessments on patients to improve your clinical reasoning. Enhance your skills in locating, analysing, evaluating and applying information and research to your everyday work.

To study these programmes at the Graduate School of Nursing, Midwifery and Health you must be a registered nurse with a current practising certificate from the Nursing Council of New Zealand. You also need a Bachelor's degree from a New Zealand tertiary institution.

The level at which you study will depend on your previous academic achievements and chosen professional direction.

Workload

As a guide, for each 30-point course you take at the Graduate School, you should allocate around 10 hours per point for self-directed study, research, assessments and attendance at Schools.

If you’re studying full time, you can expect a workload of 40 hours of study time a week for much of the year. Part-time students doing one course per trimester will need to allocate approximately 20 hours of study a week. Make sure you take this into account if you are working full time.

How you'll study

Through a blend of research, class work and clinical experience, our academic team will support and work with you throughout your study, both face-to-face and through internet-based technology. You'll study a combination of core and elective courses, with both coursework and thesis-based research options at Master’s level.

Each course is made up of several ‘block schools’, with each block held over one to four days. They're a mix of lectures, tutorials and small group activities that give you time to study and access to staff for advice and guidance.

Held at Wellington Regional Hospital, the schools are a great opportunity for you to network with your peers and other health care experts—to share ideas and strategies for learning, identify areas for change and assess your progress.

Study while you work

Our part-time programme options make it easy for you to learn while you're working. We'll help you integrate academic life with work and family through our flexible delivery models that allow you to learn at home or on campus.

The distance component supported by Blackboard forms part of your courses and supports the development of the content delivered in the School.

Master of Nursing Science

The Master of Nursing Science is made up of two parts. In Part 1, you’ll gain an understanding of applied pathophysiology and develop advanced assessment and clinical reasoning skills. You’ll complete two further courses from an approved range, in an area of specialist practice or other focus of your choice.

After completing Part 1 and with the permission of the head of school, you can begin Part 2 with either a coursework or research focus.

If you choose to focus on coursework, you’ll complete a research review, practice project and further taught courses.

With a research focus, you’ll complete a research methods course and undertake your thesis—an advanced research project that contributes to nursing knowledge.

Nurse prescribing and nurse practitioner pathways

There are also two optional pathways within the Nursing Science programme: the nurse prescribing pathway or the nurse practitioner pathway.

Nurse prescribing pathway

The nurse prescribing pathway gives you the skill set needed for a prescribing role in your practice. You’ll take a set of four core courses including clinical pharmacology and conclude with a Nurse Prescribing practicum (HLTH 529) which will help you prepare for the Nursing Council of New Zealand registration process.

The entry requirement into HLTH 529 is at least a B grade for all prerequisite courses.

The Nursing Council of New Zealand requires that the nurse:

  • be a registered nurse with a current NCNZ practicing certificate
  • have at least three years equivalent full time practice in the clinical area intending to prescribe in, with one year of this in New Zealand
  • work within a multidisciplinary team
  • have the support of a clinical mentor who is a designated authorised prescriber and has experience mentoring
  • have the support from their employer to complete this course and support for ongoing professional development
  • identify a clinical area of practice and have up to date clinical knowledge relevant to this area of practice.

See the NCNZ website or contact the programme director for more information.

Nurse practitioner pathway

The nurse practitioner pathway has a distinctive structure within the Master of Nursing Science and gives you the knowledge and skills of an advanced health professional.

You will need to complete six core courses and two pre-approved elective courses. Your elective courses must support your development as a nurse practitioner and need to be approved by the programme director.

At least a B grade for all prerequisite courses is required in order to progress to the Nurse Practitioner Practicum (HLTH 531).

The Master of Nursing Science qualification meets the Nursing Council of New Zealand stipulated requirements for Nurse Practitioners.

Postgraduate Diploma in Nursing Science

You can complete a Postgraduate Diploma in Nursing Science on its own, but after graduating you may wish to apply for admission to the Master of Nursing Science programme. Your postgraduate diploma can be credited towards the Master’s, with exemptions given for the courses you have already completed.

The nurse prescribing pathway can also be completed as part of the Postgraduate Diploma in Nursing Science.

Postgraduate Certificate in Nursing Science

You can complete a Postgraduate Certificate in Nursing Science on its own, but after graduating you may wish to apply for admission to the Master of Nursing Science or Postgraduate Diploma in Nursing Science programme. Your postgraduate certificate can be credited towards either programme, with exemptions given for the courses you have already completed.

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