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New Zealand welcomes 1st Maori nurse practitioner

New Zealand welcomes its first Maori nurse practitioner

Ministry of Health spokesperson Frances Hughes today said she was delighted to see New Zealand had its first Maori Nurse Practitioner.

Janet Maloney-Moni, who began her nursing career 30 years ago, was certified as the country's first Nurse Practitioner Primary Health Care Maori following her recent approval by the Nursing Council of New Zealand.

Dr Hughes said her endorsement by the Nursing Council was another step forward for primary health care and efforts to create a career path for nurses working at an advanced level.

The Nurse Practitioner qualification recognises Ms Maloney-Moni's extensive experience in the full range of community health areas, including Maori health, child and family health, mental health, aged care and palliative care. It recognises her work in service delivery, as well as community education and planning health programs.

Ms Maloney-Moni said it was extremely satisfying to have her life's work recognised through the Nurse Practitioner qualification and in particular her work with Maori people.

"I've been entrenched in moving things forward for Maori, in education and delivering services to achieve outcomes and it is wonderful to have that recognised," she said.

"My major role is about educating my Maori people and also about opening the access way into resources they weren't even aware that were available to them. "

Ms Maloney-Moni has spent the last 16 years in the Waikato area, most recently setting up and delivering the Mobile Maori DSM (Disease State Management) Nursing Service to North Waikato under a contract with Maori health provider Raukura Hauora O Tainui Ki Waikato.

The Nurse Practioner qualification now allows her to work at the highest level of clinical expertise in nursing, assessing and diagnosing treatment, offering a population focus to health care and providing leadership in health services to meet Maori needs. She is one of only nine nurses in New Zealand to attain the qualification, which requires a Masters level education and adherence to strict standards and competences set by the Nursing Council.

Ministry of Health Chief Advisor Nursing Frances Hughes said the Ministry was pleased to welcome Ms Maloney-Moni as New Zealand's first Maori nurse practitioner and a valuable asset to community health.

"Nurse Practitioners provide an innovative way of reaching communities through hospital and community providers, and meeting health needs across all sectors in a cost-effective way, " Dr Hughes said.

"They are an invaluable resource in all communities in particular, providing a service that complements the work of other medical professionals such as allied health.

"They advocate health promotion and disease prevention. They look beyond treating the ailment and consider non-medical intervention and encourage self care.''

Dr Hughes says nurse practitioners were instrumental in helping reduce issues of inequality and access in health care.

Ms Maloney-Moni said she intended to pursue further study to become a qualified prescribing nurse practitioner, which had become possible due to a new funding arrangement through the Ministry of Health.

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