The Healthcare Academy of New Zealand, a new healthcare training facility, is opening to increase the number of qualified nurses and healthcare workers in Aotearoa.
With a focus on addressing immediate workforce issues by training more nurses, the academy will launch initially with the Diploma in Enrolled Nursing*, with the programme set to expand to meet industry needs in allied health, aged care, and mental health and addiction.
Ana Maria Rivera, CEO of Healthcare Academy of New Zealand says the campus doors are ready to be opened to help bolster the healthcare workforce in Aotearoa.
“We cannot simply expect existing institutions to do more and in the same way. We need additional solutions to grow a diverse, domestic healthcare workforce,” says Rivera.
Healthcare Academy of New Zealand is committed to providing innovative solutions to some of the issues that exist in attracting learners into nursing training and providing mutually beneficial work placements that are traditionally hard to come by.
“Through our extensive engagement with the healthcare industry, ramping up the training of enrolled nurses to an increasingly diverse student cohort has been identified as part of the solution to alleviating workforce shortages.
“This need was recognised by the Tertiary Education Commission which invested $370,000 into Healthcare Academy of New Zealand to help deliver more enrolled nurses into our workforce.
“We have worked closely with the healthcare industry to find out how to attract a broader set of New Zealanders into careers in healthcare and educate them to the necessary standards. We look forward to making this contribution to Aotearoa.”
The Auckland CBD campus is located on Symonds Street, with clinical simulation suites, fully equipped classrooms and labs to meet the educational needs of the next generation of healthcare workers.
$1.5 million has been invested into the establishment of the education facility which can train hundreds of enrolled nurses each year and has the capacity to train up to 1,000 healthcare workers across various fields.
“We know the New Zealand Nurses Organisation claims 50 per cent of the existing nursing workforce will retire by 20351, so it’s important we act now to help maintain the stream of new nurses into our healthcare workforce,” says Rivera.
Healthcare Academy of New Zealand forms part of Yoobee Colleges Limited, and are a part of UP Education, the country’s largest and highest performing independent tertiary education group with a long history of responding to what Aotearoa needs, including catering to underserved learners and responding to skills shortages across communities and the economy.
“We’ve seen success with similar enrolled nursing programmes in Australia, with our own Acknowledge Education campus in Melbourne already qualifying nurses who are legally able to work here in New Zealand,” says Rivera.
“Despite this, independent education providers in New Zealand are currently not permitted to deliver the same education to domestic learners.
“We know the healthcare sector in Aotearoa is struggling, and we know the current education providers can’t fill the gaps.
“More variety and flexibility in the education space will ultimately help to prepare the next generation of healthcare professionals without compromising on patient care.”
“What we aim to achieve with Healthcare Academy of New Zealand has been supported by a wide range of stakeholders across the health sector including hospitals, healthcare facilities, Toitū te Waiora – Workforce Development Council for Community, Health, Education and Social Services, and the Tertiary Education Commission.
“Agreements have been established with a range of leading healthcare providers including ABI Rehabilitation and MercyAscot hospitals, to provide students with clinical placements required as part of the Diploma of Enrolled Nursing.”
The academy will be taking a targeted approach to attract and train more Māori and Pacific Peoples into careers in healthcare to support the diverse cultural needs of Aotearoa. This will include transitioning a large number of learners who are in or have previously completed unregulated health programmes into enrolled nursing.
“What COVID laid bare was how reliant our healthcare system is on international immigration, which has been slower to restart following the pandemic,” says Rivera.
“In order to build a sustainable future for the healthcare workforce, there needs to be a stronger focus on training an increasingly diverse domestic workforce.
“We need to expand the nation’s training options now so we can attract and educate a diverse set of people into careers in care for the future of Aotearoa.”
*Pending approval from Nursing Council of New Zealand and New Zealand Qualifications Authority.
About Healthcare Academy of New Zealand
Healthcare Academy of New Zealand is a new private education facility committed to educating the next generation of aspiring healthcare professionals by providing a supportive, relevant, and seamless journey from class to clinic to career to community.
Healthcare Academy of New Zealand is focused on serving immediate workforce issues by training more nurses via the Diploma in Enrolled Nursing, with future expansion to meet skills shortages in the wider healthcare sector. It forms part of Yoobee Colleges, New Zealand’s largest Category One Private Training Establishment, with 7,000 students enrolled across five schools, colleges and academies.