A new postgraduate programme in Samoa to address the shortage of higher qualified nursing graduates is now open to suitable applicants.
The course is a collaboration between Samoa's School of Nursing and Wellington's Victoria University.
Victoria's Dean of the Faculty of Health Professor Gregor Coster says students in Samoa can now pursue higher qualifications without leaving the country.
He says it's a boost for nursing education, research as well as the overall health sector.
"They really need some speciality nursing staff. People who can work in cardiology or neurology or mental health or infectious diseases or non-communicable diseases and the Masters program will offer courses that will help to develop specialist skills for nurses in Samoa that they can take practise roles in the Samoan health system and we think that is very exciting and a development opportunity," said Professor Coster.
The New Zealand government has contributed $NZ 1.75 million to the programme over five years.
Gregory Coster also acknowledged the efforts and connections of Luamanuvao Dame Winnie Laban since 2015 to get the programme in place.