Kerri Arcus & Ruth Crawford

403 – Kia Ora Hauora: Enthusing secondary school students about a nursing career

Recruiting Māori into nursing and the health professions is part of the solution required to meet future Māori healthcare needs. Kia Ora Hauora (KOH) programmes provide a range of targeted interventions (activities) that expose secondary school students to focused, culturally appropriate experiences of health careers. Collaborative research undertaken between the Central Region KOH programme and Whitireia New Zealand, retrospectively investigated the efficacy of these programmes.
Available evidence suggested that KOH was effective in enthusing Māori students about health careers, however further analysis was required to ascertain its effectiveness in the Central Region. KOH targeted activities include Tu Kaha conferences, work experience days, work observation days and weeks. Existing students’ evaluations from 2010 – 2015 were analysed. Data was examined using descriptive statistics and simple inferential statistics.

Preliminary findings show that offering a range of interventions was effective. Of the 425 student engagements across all activities, approximately one third were male. Overall for all activities, 77.8% of males were interested in a health career, compared to 74.2% of females. Attendance was strongest at years 12 and 13, and peaked in year 12. However, interest in a health career was strongest in year 13 (89%), and 72.2% at year 12. Data analysis is ongoing.

Developing the Māori health workforce, particularly as nursing is the biggest professional group involved in health care delivery, is critical to ensure the quality of the future New Zealand health system. Identifying strategies that successfully promote these careers to Māori youth is essential.

Key words: Nursing; health professions; Māori health workforce; secondary school.