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New Entry to Specialist Practice (NESP)

If you are a new graduate nurse or a nurse who is looking for experience in a new speciality, we want to hear from you!

The NESP programme supports nurses new to Mental Health, Addiction and Intellectual Disability Service (MHAIDS) to develop their professional practice while developing the specific skills required for the specialty field. We are committed to supporting new graduate nurses in their first year of practice.

As per Standards of Practice for Mental Health Nursing in Aotearoa, New Zealand (Te Ao Māramatanga, 2012), all nurses working in mental health must have an undergraduate or post graduate programme in mental health nursing.   

For this reason, the NESP programme combines theory, supported clinical experience, clinical preceptorship and supervision AND, in addition, nurses receive a Postgraduate Certificate in Mental Health and Addiction Nursing on completion of the programme.

As a New Entry to Specialist Practice participant, you will be offered a 72 hour permanent contract with paid study leave to complete the academic requirements of the programme. You will be offered two rotations within our MHAIDS services (one inpatient and one community) which may include adult, youth, older adult, forensic, community, early intervention, intellectual disabilities, Māori and Pasifika health services- across the Hutt Valley, Wairarapa and Capital and Coast regions.

We also welcome enquiries from experienced nurses who are interested in working in a mental health, addiction and intellectual disability setting, internationally qualified nurses (IQN) and nurses wanting to expand their scope of practice.

For further information about NESP please contact:

Nikki Adams: Nurse Educator for students and NESPs

Ph 027 548 8853 or email

Menetta Te Aonui; Nurse Educator Māori NESP and Māori Workforce Development

Ph 027 683 9364 or email

Last updated 2 April 2024.