From next year Timaru's new nursing students will be switching nursing schools.
The move follows in the wake of last year's merger between the local Aoraki Polytechnic and Christchurch's former CPIT to create Ara Institute of Canterbury.
Currently Otago Polytechnic's nursing school has 31 equivalent full time equivalent students enrolled in the South Canterbury town.
In a statement the two institutes said from next year Ara would start offering its bachelor of nursing in Timaru, alongside its pre-health and midwifery qualifications, and Otago would withdraw frm Timaru once all its students had graduated in two years time.
Lisa McKay, acting head of Ara's nursing school said both Ara and Otago Polytechnic had excellent nursing schools with some of the highest completion and employment rates in the country.Otago Polytechnic Chief Executive, Phil Ker, said it was important that current students completed their qualification and graduated from Otago Polytechnic and it was working closely with Ara to make the transition a "seamless change".
Timaru-based nursing lecturers, one full time and one part time, have been offered the opportunity to transfer from Otago Polytechnic to be employed by Ara. They will continue to teach the current Otago Polytechnic nursing students until their graduation.
Lisa Blackler, Director Patient, Nursing and Midwifery at South Canterbury DHB, said the new health training hub would build on the work begun by Otago and having a locally-based option would help promote the DHB as a great place to start a career in health.