A return to nursing
After an 18 year break - and a global pandemic - Anna Perkins has returned to nursing.
When the Covid-19 pandemic started last year, I thought about my Nursing experience – and how I had skills to offer that were not being used.
Anna Perkins has returned to Nursing after an 18-year break — and is excited about the next chapter in her professional journey.
Anna recently completed the Certificate in Professional Practice for Registered Nurses (CAP), a competence assessment programme at Otago Polytechnic’s School of Nursing.
It takes eight weeks to complete the qualification, before being put forward to the Nursing Council of New Zealand for registration.
“I had always thought I would go back to Nursing, but my circumstances, including raising three children, didn’t allow this,” Anna explains.
“However, when the Covid-19 pandemic started last year, I thought about my Nursing experience – and how I had skills to offer that were not being used.”
Anna says that any worries she may have had about “then and now” factors, such as changes in procedures, medications and products, were quickly dispelled.
“I was pleasantly surprised at how my previous Nursing knowledge came back to me. My life experience in the last 18 years in a range of different areas also helped.
“The CAP gave me confidence and reassured me that my skills and experience would hold me in a good place. The evaluation process was helpful and also gave me confidence after being out of research and study for so long.”
Anna says Otago Polytechnic’s Nursing teachers were very supportive.
“They didn’t hold my hand. They challenged me, but in a way that was positive encouraging.
“The support I received during placement was invaluable, translating into being confident enough to ask staff for help – as well as recognize where my weaknesses were.”
Now, Anna is working 16 hours per week as a Practice Nurse.
“My duties are very varied. I love being supported by my colleagues and trusting in my knowledge and ability to ask for help.
“I have confidence that I am a respected valued member of the Nursing team.
“I am excited for what is in my future and where it will lead me.”
Geoffrey Harvey, who leads the Otago Polytechnic’s School of Nursing Competence Assessment Programme for Registered Nurses, says the programme is important to the healthcare sector
“New Zealand benefits from experienced, highly qualified nurses who are respected, compassionate and highly competent in clinical settings.
Complete this theoretical and applied Certificate in Professional Practice for Registered Nurses and obtain a current Annual Practising Certificate. Acquire the most up-to-date skills and knowledge required to be part of a healthcare team in New Zealand.