Drive is on to recruit more Maori nurses
The healthcare workforce is calling for more Maori nurses and the Manukau Institute of Technology is stepping up to the challenge.
Counties Manukau Health director of nursing Denise Kivell says it's critical to have ethnic diversity in healthcare and the district health board is willing to support Maori nurses in the workforce.
"If MIT can bring us nurses fit to practise, we will go the extra mile to support and link them into the industry because we need them," Ms Kivell says.
MIT has run a support programme for Maori nursing students for many years but is now making the recruitment and retention of Maori a key goal.
Strategies include dedicating space for a whanau room and a weekly whanau hui at the MIT marae.
Nursing lecturer Evelyn Hikuroa says more effort needs to be put into recruitment but that's not as straightforward as it sounds.
"Not only do school leavers have more choice in career options but rangatahi Maori still lag in secondary school achievement," she says.
MIT is working more closely with the health board to recruit and retain Maori nurses.
Recent graduate and registered nurse Marieann Mohi says more understanding is needed if healthcare providers are to give the best care possible.
"We need to understand and respect customers and how cultures influence the way in which people prefer to be cared for," she says.
"Having systems that promote learning opportunities for Maori and which are tailored to the way Maori learn would go a long way in encouraging rangatahi to pursue careers in nursing," she says.