Fulfilling primary care career ahead for young nurse

New graduate, Jacob Weston, chose a career in nursing after working with a male nurse on a gap year overseas. He decided to work in primary care because it offered the chance to work with whānau and help them maintain good health and avoid tertiary level care.

Jacob, 23, is part of the Nursing Entry to Practice (NETP) programme. The programme enables nursing graduates to begin their careers well- supported, safe, skilled and confident in their clinical practice, equipped for further learning and professional development.

After finishing high school, Jacob headed to America to do a ‘gap year’. He worked with adults with disabilities during his time in the States. “I worked with a male nurse over there. I really enjoyed that line of work and he showed me his roles and responsibilities,’’ he said.

When he returned to New Zealand, Jacob considered his career options, including a trade apprenticeship. He decided on nursing because of the opportunity to help and engage with a wide range of people.

“I thought I’d give it (nursing) ago and have really enjoyed the pathway from there.”

He did his degree at Ara and since graduating in September has been working at Ngā Hau E Whā National Marae as a vaccinator and doing
COVID-19 testing.

“I became interested in community care through a community placement
at a GP clinic. I enjoyed working in the community with whānau… and seeing them and treating and educating them before they need to go to hospital because they are unwell. Giving them advice, tips and that kind of first step of healthcare.”

Jacob said he is looking forward to being part of the NetP programme and
becoming a ‘well-rounded primary care nurse’.

“NetP will give me extra training days throughout the year with skills such as phlebotomy, as well as giving me extra learning around the primary sector.”

Watch Jacob’s interview here.

Read the full November newsletter.