By: Liz Wylie

Nursing graduate Julius Ajoc is off to study in Dunedin next year. Photo / Bevan Conley

UCOL Whanganui nursing students achieved a 100 per cent pass rate this year and one has earned a place at Dunedin Medical School.

And the news gets even better – 90 per cent of the 26 bachelor graduates have already found employment.

The regional head of UCOL nursing school, Carol Stewart, said the employment success is largely due to the Whanganui District Health Board and other health providers in the region.

“They are very supportive of our school and it means a lot that our graduates are able to work locally,” she said.

“Some of our students come as school leavers and want to go and work overseas when they graduate and we have a number of students completing second-chance education who have families and want to stay here.”

Graduate Julius Ajoc, 20, will be studying at the Dunedin School of Medicine next year.

His achievement levels during three years of study at Whanganui UCOL have earned him an unconditional place at the university.

The former Cullinane student said he was inspired to become a health professional after watching the way they worked when he spent time in hospital as a child.

“I always admired the calm way they worked and I thought I would like to be like that.

“It helped that I was good at science subjects too,” said Mr Ajoc.

Mrs Stewart said tutors tell students at the outset that they are future colleagues and that encourages them to persevere when the going gets tough.

Whanganui programme leader Lesley Baylis agrees that the encouragement is important.

“Our standards are high and it can be tough because some students face big life hurdles while they are studying.

“They are not only our future colleagues but may be our future nurses who will look after us.”

Mrs Baylis said tutors are very invested in the success of their students.

“We are on tenterhooks waiting for the results too so we are over the moon about the great results this year.”

The next Bachelor of Nursing course at UCOL Whanganui begins in February and limited places are available.


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