Gerontology Acceleration Programme (GAP)

​​​​​​GERONTOLOGY ACCELERATION PROGRAMME – NURSING

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 which may include medical, rehabilitation and aged residential care settings, in conjunction with postgraduate education to enhance participant's knowledge, skills and understanding of the older persons journey through the care continuum.

Applications are welcomed from any Regsitered Nurses who are working in acute health and older persons health and rehabilitation services, as well as those working in Aged Residential Care. 

Potential applicants please discuss your application with your line manager first.  

To apply, please follow this link​ ​

Applications close April 26th at 3pm

What is the Gerontology Acceleration Programme (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 24 Registered Nurses.

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

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


Programme Components

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.    Two clinical rotations 

These rotations are 12 weeks each and may take place in a variety of settings including:

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

2.     ​Post Graduate Nursing Education

    • Post Graduate Certificate in Health Sciences (Gerontology) 
    • Or 
    • Similar relevant post graduate education (with discussion from Nurse Coordinator, Nursing Workforce Development- ARC)

​3.     Clinical Mentorship ​

    • ​Provision of mentorship throughout the programme

4.     Professional Development Recognition Programme (PDRP​)

    • ​​​Completion of PDRP Portfolio proficient level


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)

GAP Experiences

Feedback from 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, postgraduate education and mentorship through out the 12 month 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

For further information please contact​

Rebecca Heyward 

Nurse Coordinator

Nursing Workforce Development- Aged Residential Care 

Mobile: 021 195 9946

Email: arcnursing@cdhb.health.nz

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Page last reviewed: 16 April 2019