Whanganui UCOL has celebrated the 10 year anniversary of its first graduation for Bachelor of Nursing and Diploma in Enrolled Nursing students.
Held last week on the eve of International Nurses Day, around 40 Whanganui UCOL Bachelor of Nursing alumni along with current and former staff members gathered on campus for a reunion style event to recognise the occasion.
UCOL Academic Leader Nurse Education Team, Carol Stewart says the event was an ideal opportunity to track the professional journey of alumni and renew acquaintances.
"Some of our alumni now work as preceptors for current students so this was also an opportunity for them to provide valuable feedback to our team."
Alumni from the original 2006 cohort attended, as well as graduates from each year since.
The Bachelor of Nursing at Whanganui UCOL is a highly successful programme. Since its inception in 2003 and first graduation in 2006, a total of 350 students have graduated with a Bachelor of Nursing or Diploma in Enrolled Nursing from Whanganui UCOL.
The Nursing Degree was first instigated in Whanganui after being seen as an opportunity for a resource of future staff for the Whanganui District Health Board.
Bachelor of Nursing Regional Programme Leader Lesley Baylis was the first Lecturer for the programme at Whanganui UCOL 13 years ago, and says the success of the programme can be in part attributed to strong local support.
"We have had exceptional support from the Whanganui District Health Board and other local health providers, without whom these two programmes could not run as successfully as they do," she says.
Staff on UCOL's Palmerston North and Wairarapa campuses, where the Bachelor of Nursing also runs, recognised International Nurses Day with a Professional Development session and afternoon tea.
UCOL is taking enrolments now for the Bachelor of Nursing programme (mid-year intake) starting this July, and Diploma in Enrolled Nursing starting September.