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Deanne

Deanne Riddington

Year of Award: 2015 Award State: Victoria Education > Indigenous
Health And Medicine > Nursing
The Jack Brockhoff Foundation Churchill Fellowship to build upon the pilot Aboriginal Graduate Nurse Program at St Vincent's Hospital - New Zealand, USA, Canada
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The Congress of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Nurses and Midwives (CATSINaM) identify cost, lack of support, mentoring and lack of flexibility as barriers for Aboriginal people to becoming a nurse. In Australia 0.61% of Registered Nurses and 1.55% of Enrolled Nurses identify as Aboriginal. At a state level 0.35% of Registered Nurses and 0.57% of Enrolled Nurses identity as Aboriginal in Victoria. Hospitals play an integral role in improving opportunities for Aboriginal people in nursing careers. 

New Zealand has well established transition programs for newly graduated nurses connecting participants with the realities of practice in a supportive environment. While all hospitals facilitate clinical placements for Maori nursing students to assist their development as beginning practitioners many hospitals take an active role in attracting Maori youth to nursing as a career often by career experience days and mentorship. The higher education facilities understand their integral role in assisting students to successfully complete their studies and employ specialist staff and have a close relationship with the hospitals to assist the journey for the students.

The Canadian universities and colleges visited as part of fellowship all have robust programs in place to not only support Aboriginal nursing students but to also engage non-Aboriginal nursing students with Aboriginal culture. The challenges of distance was a common theme throughout the Aboriginal nursing community and the education institutions have made ‘learn where you live’ a priority. For Aboriginal students being able to study close to home has been a successful process for growing remote nursing numbers.

In Hawaii a gap has been recognised regarding Native Hawaiian nurses who were not able to get into a Bachelor of Nursing program directly from school. So a pathway was developed with three nursing careers on the journey. The first step was completing a course to become a Certified Nurses Aide and then be able to consolidate in this role and prepare to take on the Licenced Practical Nurse role and finish with the completion a Bachelor of Nursing course to become a Registered Nurse. This journey is flexible and reflective of the needs of the participants.

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