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Entry to Specialist Practice (ESP) Programme - Mental Health

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The ESP programme is for registered nurses new to mental health and addiction nursing, including new graduates.

The programme supports nurses new to mental health and addiction services to develop their professional practice while developing the specific skills required for the specialty field of mental health and addiction nursing. 

Te Whatu Ora Health NZ - MidCentral Mental Health Services are pleased to support the ESP Programme which has been running for over a decade and is well regarded as having made a significant contribution to addressing recruitment and retention of mental health nurses across New Zealand. The Programme is consistent with national workforce strategies such as Te Tahuhu and the established pathway new graduate nurses follow when entering the mental health and addictions field.
In 2012 there were 149 places funded nationally through Te Pou ‘Skills Matter’ . MidCentral’s intake to the programme varies from year to year, however it's usually between three and five trainees. There is one intake per year into the programme. Trainees are employed as registered nurses on a 12 month temporary contract with the opportunity to apply for permanent positions during the last three months of the programme.
The programme is 40 weeks in duration and comprises both theory and practice based learning. The theory includes two post graduate nursing papers and is delivered in block mode through specific education providers. MidCentral trainees attend Whitireia Polytech for the theory component of the programme. The practice component is gained through a combination of inpatient and community mental health based clinical placements. Trainees are supported by a site coordinator.
For more information:

  1. Visit the Te Pou website and view the information about New Entry to Specialist Practice Mental Health & Addiction Nursing or
  2. Contact Ward 21 Nurse Educator & ESP Site Coordinator Michela Fox at:

NZ national job portal - are you looking for a job in health?

Send a message to a patient at a MidCentral DHB facility.

General information about Palmerston North Hospital.