NESP Programme

What is the NESP programme?

NESP is for registered nurses new to mental health and addiction nursing, including new graduates and registered nurses entering mental health and addiction.

The programme supports nurses to develop their professional practice while developing the specific skills required for the specialty field of Mental Health and Addiction nursing.

The programme aims to facilitate progression from Graduate Registered Nurse to Competent Registered Nurse on the Te Whatu Ora Lakes Professional Development Recognition Programme (PDRP).

Graduates complete a post-graduate certificate at the University of Auckland to extend theoretical mental health and addiction nursing knowledge.

The Post Graduate Certificate in Health Science (Mental Health Nursing) is a Master’s level certificate consisting of two clinically focused papers.

The programme involves days or blocks of classroom teaching, online and self-directed learning, as well as experience-based learning within the clinical setting, clinical preceptorship and supervision.

New graduate nurses may have clinical rotations throughout the programme to assist them to develop a broad view of the context of mental health care and the skills of liaising with multiple services and agencies.

Ideally each graduate nurse will experience working in both inpatient and community settings. It is helpful to take the new graduates’ interests and preferences into account when making decisions about their placements.

The NESP Programme

The NESP Programme aims to attract high calibre registered nurses who are new to mental health and addictions settings.

It is to facilitate the development of clinical mental health nursing skills and the integration of theoretical and practical knowledge during the first year of practice, and to support new nurses to achieve a competent level of mental health nursing practice by the end of the programme.

Promotion of recovery focused mental health nursing practice is central, and by ensuring that the programme is representative of all facets of the mental health spectrum the recovery philosophy underpins all aspects of the programme.

Throughout the programme, the new graduate nurse, as a registered nurse, is responsible for all nursing care which she or he delivers to service users.

NESP Programme Structure 

The NESP programme aims to facilitate progression from graduate registered nurse to competent registered nurse on the Te Whatu Ora Lakes Professional Development Recognition Programme.

Nurses undertaking the NESP programme will have a 12 month placement within the Mental Health & Addiction Service.

Line management of the new mental health nurses will occur at each placement.

Academic Structure

The Post Graduate Certificate in Health Science (Mental Health Nursing) is a Masters level certificate made up of two clinically focused papers.

The certificate can be credited toward the Post Graduate Diploma in Health Sciences (Mental Health Nursing), and toward a Masters degree.

It is expected that students will need to undertake significant self-directed study, amounting to several hours for each hour of classroom teaching.

This time will include reading, library research, writing, and reflection.

This is an expectation for any course of postgraduate study and people will need to plan to allocate time for this.

Academic Study Requirements

The graduate will participate in the formal, structured and supportive NESP programme.

It is expected that graduates will be released from clinical duties for all post graduate study days.

It is important to remember that block classroom study days are work days and attendance is mandatory.

These will occur as specified in your university timetable and are held on ‘campus’, usually at the Bryant Education Centre (BEC), Te Whatu Ora Waikato, if the venue changes you will be notified.

If for any reason you are unable to attend you must advise your CNSL/CNM/CM and the University coordinator or delegate.

NESP Assessment Processes 

At the beginning of the placement the new graduate will review all academic and clinical requirements of the programme and identify learning objectives.

Six to eight weeks into each placement the graduate nurse and preceptor will complete a progress review to identify further objectives and support the new graduate to reach the competencies identified in their level one or competent performance review.

Graduate nurses will complete two performance reviews with their preceptor and CTL.

Failure to pass any clinical assessment will result in supportive management to enable the nurse to improve their practice and successfully undertake a reassessment in the same clinical setting.

Failure to pass more than two clinical assessments will be referred to the CND.

It is expected that each nurse will achieve a passing grade in the academic component of the programme.

Failure to pass the academic component of the programme will be referred to the CND.

At the completion of the programme the graduate will have achieved Level 2 Competent on the Te Whatu Ora Lakes PDRP.

Clinical Placements 

Graduate nurses will have a 12 month placement, preferably with two rotations in contrasting clinical areas.

The graduate nurse will share a clinical load with their preceptor and not be allocated any more than two clients per shift for the first four weeks of the first rotation. 

The expectation is that they will work alongside their assigned preceptor during this time. 

Rosters will also need to make allowance for the theoretical component of the programme, study days, professional and cultural supervision where required.

Inpatient Placements

At no time until the completion of the competent level performance review should the graduate nurse be the most senior staff member on duty.

The graduate nurse is employed as a registered nurse, and as such is expected to work full rostered shifts according to the demands of the service, with some exceptions during the orientation/transition periods.

Community Placements

There may be a time when the new graduate nurse’s first clinical placement takes place in a community team. 

When the first placement is a community placement the same guidelines re: timelines as specified above must still apply.