Nearly 50 new nurses will receive a scholarship to work in general practices in some of the country's higher need communities, the Government has announced.

"There has been a lot of interest in the scholarships from both the nurse graduates and general practices. As a result, the original plan for 30 scholarships has been increased to 48," Health Minister Tony Ryall said.

In September Mr Ryall announced the government would invest an extra $16 million over four years to support Very Low Cost Access (VLCA) practices. This included a one-off $1.5 million scholarship fund for 30 graduate nurses.

"We want even more new graduate nurses working in our higher need communities and are increasing the scholarship fund to $2.4 million," he said.


"Over half of the graduate nurses have already been appointed and recruitment is well underway for the other positions."

The graduate nurses would work in communities including Kaikohe, Waitakere, Mangere, Murupara, Kawerau, Wairoa, Wanganui and Aranui.

"These 48 graduate nurses will work alongside GPs, practice nurses and other members of the general practice team delivering care to communities with the greatest need," Mr Ryall said.