Gerontology Acceleration Programme (GAP)


Applications are now open for the 2019 Gerontology Acceleration Programme. 

This programme commences mid-2019 and is a 12-month nursing acceleration programme which provides extended learning and experience for nurses working with our gerontology population. This programme provides the opportunity for nurses to participate in clinical rotations through medical, rehabilitation and aged residential care facilities, in conjunction with postgraduate education to enhance their knowledge, skills and understanding of the older persons journey through the care continuum.

To apply, please follow the link:

What is GAP

GAP was designed to help registered nurses to expand knowledge and skills in gerontology to build an understanding of different areas of care along the continuum of the patient journey.  Since its first inception in 2013, GAP has supported 22 participants, three whom have just graduated.

The importance of GAP was reflected in a Ministry of Health Evaluation (2015) of the GAP programme, which clearly showed the development of confident leaders across the aged sector, whereby our nurses developed a stronger understanding of the patient journey across the continuum and enhanced clinical and day to day nursing practice, skills and knowledge. These findings are supported by one of our recently graduated nurse participants who felt that:

"GAP enhanced my nursing skills, as I'm more aware about the complexities of an older person in regards to their care and well being"

                  Joe Senagan, W24, Christchurch Hospital


GAP Mentors and Participants (Left to Right) - Napat Sirihongthong, Joemar Senagan, Rachel Leary, Gene Ruiz, Michelle Bugayong, Anna Bush



GAP is a 12-month nursing acceleration programme which provides extended learning and experience for nurses working with our gerontology population. The programme consists of the following:

1.    Multiple rotations through various nusing settings

    • Aged Residential Care Facilities (ARC),
    • Medical Wards - Christchurch Hospital
    • Medical/Rehabilitation Burwood Hospital​

2.     ​Post Graduate Nursing Education

    • Post Graduate Certificate Gerontology (Health Assessment & Gerontology Papers - other papers may be considered and discussed)    
    • Or Similar relevant post graduate education

​3.     Clinical Mentorship ​

    • ​Provision of mentorship throughout the programme

4.     Professional Development Recognition Programme (PDRP​)

    • ​​​Completion of PDRP Portfolio and proficient level

GAP Experiences

Feed back from the nurses who have participated in this programme clearly reflect a high level of growth and development in nursing knowledge and skills provided by secondment to new clinical areas, post graduate education and mentorship through out the 12month programme. This is reflected in some of the following statements

“GAP made me a better Nurse. I gained new friends and mentors.... I have confirmed that Gerontology is my passion.....

    ........The GAP experience has taught me how to be a better nurse in caring for our older people considering the complexities and uniqueness of their needs. Having an in-depth knowledge and understanding about Gerontology helps me to effectively and safely formulate a plan of care which is person-centred that will address their own needs and concerns, which will then protect them and help them to have a better life outcome".                                                  Michelle Bugayong, Bishop Selwyn Lifecare   

"GAP has given me more of an understanding and appreciation of working in both a residential care facility and the acute setting. This increased knowldege can now be shared with my colleagues and current patients to facilitate a smoother transition between sectors"                                                          Rachel Leary, Burwood Hospital

 To read more about the experience of some of our GAP participants refer to the following links...

  1. MichelleBugayong, GAP 2017-18 
  2. RachelLeary, GAP 2017-18
  3. Joemar Senagan GAP 2017/18
  4. Gene Ruiz & Ruth Cahutay GAP 2013/14

GAP Brochure


​Eligibility Criteria​

    1. Nursing Experience (Min 2yrs)
    2. Available to work 0.8 – 1.0 FTE
    3. NZ Resident (Unless you are able to self-fund postgraduate education - see Health Workforce NZ (HWNZ) Criteria)

​​Applying for GAP

​​1. Discuss with your manager - it is important that you have your managers support for this programme

2. Apply online through the following link:

Key Documents informing the Gap Programme​

  1. GAP Toolkit ​- Information to follow​
  2. Rostering information for CNM's​​​  
  3. Ministry Of Health (MOH) GAP Evaluation 20​15 
  4. ARC Charter, HQSC, MOH NZ July 2018 

For further information please contact​

Rachael Haldane, Nurse Co-ordinator, ARC Support

Mobile: 021 195 9946


        ************** APPLICATIONS REOPEN 2019 ****************

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Page last reviewed: 11 February 2019