The residents at a Whangarei retirement village will have many more young people to play bowls and have a cup of tea with following a partnership with NorthTec.
The polytechnic and Jane Mander Retirement Village have described the the initiative, launched last Friday, as providing a centre of excellence for nurse training.
The scheme will see about 30 trainee nurses a year do clinical placement at the facility owned by Ryman Healthcare.
Jane Mander manager Helen Franklin said the partnership had been in the pipeline for three years.
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"I am a nurse and I want to have students here to share the wonderful facilities with," she said. "In the classroom they have all the theory but here is all the practice."
The students would have more time to sit with residents and have a cup of tea, Ms Franklin said.
"For residents it means an extra pair of hands to help, and our staff benefit by being exposed to students' questions and the latest thinking in the way we care for people."
She hoped students would see aged care as positive environment to work in.
"It can be such a privilege to work in aged care," she said.
NorthTec Bachelor of Nursing student Janine Salmon said she became interested in nursing because she wanted to help others.
"My kids are grown up and it's just a great opportunity to give something back."