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Boost for Nurse Practitioner Pioneers

13 May 08

For immediate release;

Boost for Nurse Practitioner Pioneers

Nurse Practitioner Facilitation Project Innovations Fund.

Nursing’s new era is recognised on International Nurses’ Day. It was announced yesterday thirteen Nurse Practitioners and Nurse Practitioner employers will receive up to $20,000 each to help them in their pioneering work in health.

With their ability to diagnose, prescribe and work independently, Nurse Practitioners are highly skilled professionals who cross boundaries in the health workforce. They are advanced nurses with extra training to a Masters Level who can provide a ‘one stop shop’ for many patients. This in turn frees up medical practitioners to deal with the more complex cases.

Nurse Practitioners fill significant gaps in population health, especially in areas such as primary and community healthcare services, Maori health, mental health and older adult health. They also contribute their unique skills to multidisciplinary teams in hospitals. Nurse Practitioners are a vital part of our present and future health delivery.

The Nurse Practitioner workforce is still in its developmental stage with 47 currently registered in New Zealand. The Nurse Practitioner Innovations fund was established to help build the numbers. It is part of the bigger Nurse Practitioner Facilitation project managed by the 21 District Health Boards’ Future Workforce programme and supported by the Ministry of Health.

The thirteen successful NP initiatives will each receive between $5000 and $20,000. This funding will go towards setting up and supporting new NP roles. Applications were diverse, some from employers and some from NPs themselves, and came from all over the country. These are the 13 successful applicants.
• Aoraki PHO and Temuka Healthcare South Canterbury,
• Hawkes Bay DHB,
• Lakes DHB,
• Masonic Villages Trust PSC ,Levin,
• Ngongotaha Medical Centre Rotorua,
• Owhata Surgery Rotorua,
• Presbyterian Support Southland,
• Southland DHB,
• Te Tai Tokerau PHO Northland,
• Turanganui PHO Gisborne,
• Upper Hutt health centre Wellington,
• Waitemata DHB,
• West Coast DHB.

One of the recipients is Dr Michal Boyd, Nurse Practitioner in Older Adult services at Waitemata DHB. Dr Boyd will use the money to develop two further NP roles in Older Persons’ care, specifically in residential and delirium care.
Dr Boyd says ‘Nurse Practitioners bring a unique set of skills you can only get from a mature senior nurse clinician’

Rose Lightfoot, CEO of Te Tai Tokerau PHO Northland, says Nurse Practitioners make a significant contribution to the rural workforce in Northland. She says NPs make a positive difference to the way they deliver health in rural Northland. ‘We are very pleased that this funding will help us continue to build up our NP workforce.’

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