RN ACE rules now apply for enrolled nurses

December 1, 2021

After two years of pressure from the Enrolled Nurse Section (ENS), enrolled nurse (EN) graduates can from 2022 apply for the ACE graduate programme while undertaking or awaiting results of state exams.

The move brings them into line with their registered nurse (RN) peers, said ENS chair Robyn Hewlett.

Until now, EN graduates have had to wait until they finished state exams before applying to the supported workforce entry programme, ENSIPP (Enrolled nurse support into practice programme) via the Advanced Choice of Employment (ACE) process.

The Ministry of Health only began funding EN graduates to be part of their own supported entry programme in 2019.

Previously, only RN graduates had been eligible for ACE and nurse-entry-to-practice places.

Hewlett hoped bringing ENs into the programme would encourage more DHBs to employ them.

The ENS had been lobbying DHBs for the past two years to allow ENs to apply for ACE programmes while still sitting exams, which meant it would be easier for them to find supported graduate entry roles.

NZNO professional nursing adviser Suzanne Rolls said while it was too late for EN graduates this year, it was a “start”.