Masters student Maria McDermott is keen to hear from any registered nurses who completed a NETP (nursing entry to practice programme) in 2013-16 and wants to compare the views of those who did and those who did not complete a postgraduate paper as part of that NETP year.

Mc Dermott said postgraduate study was not an option when she did her own NETP year in 2009 with the monthly study days focusing on consolidating clinical knowledge.

But a number of district health boards’ NETP programmes did include a postgraduate paper and she could see positives for both sides of the argument, that is, postgraduate study could either add or detract from the new graduate year. So she was keen to get graduates’ views on their own experience and how it had worked for them.

“I know that some argue that it helps start the postgraduate journey and those who do a postgraduate paper in the NETP year go on to do further postgraduate learning.” Another argument given in support was that new graduates were already having to work hard to prove their competency so why not get recognition for that hard work by linking it to a postgraduate paper.

But on the other hand she had also heard other people argue that new graduates already face a heavy workload consolidating their clinical practice and additional study was an unwelcome distraction.  “So is it (postgraduate study) just adding more pressure when new graduates are trying to come up to speed?”.

She was also intrigued to see whether graduates views on the value of postgraduate study during their NETP year changed once they had actually completed the year.

The online survey should take about ten minutes and can be found here

McDermott said she had chosen the topic as she wanted her research to focus on nursing workforce development and believed the new graduate year was key.  She came into nursing as a single mum raising teenage boys and did her NETP year at Whanganui Hospital where she is now a surgical ward clinical nurse manager after spending seven years nursing in the emergency department.  It was during her time in ED that she started her own postgraduate study and spent the last 18 months of her ED career also working part-time as a duty manager for the hospital before stepping first into a temporary and now permanent role as a clinical nurse manager.

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