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Nurse Practitioner DVD Launch

EMBARGOED UNTIL 5PM 15 September 2008

Nurse Practitioner DVD Launch

The Minister of Health David Cunliffe today announced a further year’s funding for the programme promoting Nurse Practitioners.

‘These are highly advanced nurses who have proven themselves to be a significant new force in New Zealand health care’ the Minister said. He was launching a DVD profiling Nurse Practitioners and encouraging more health employers to consider hiring them.

‘Nurse Practitioners are highly educated and experienced health professionals’ Mr. Cunliffe said. ‘They have substantially built on their nursing experience and skills through the completion of specific Master’s level academic qualifications, resulting in the development of skills, such as being able to independently diagnose, prescribe and order laboratory tests, they’re successfully using those skills where we need them most – in primary health, rural health, mental health and in the care of the elderly.’

The Minister said Nurse Practitioners had the potential to significantly improve health status wherever they worked and they would reduce the national burden of chronic disease. It was now up to District Health Boards and other health providers to make the best of their skills and flexibility by employing more of them.

There are 49 Nurse Practitioners with the five year Masters qualification and many more are now in the process of qualifying to work alongside multi disciplinary teams across the health sector. They can cross boundaries between primary and secondary health and fill gaps in service delivery.

The Nurse Practitioner Facilitation Programme was set up last year as a 12 month
initiative led by District Health Boards to stimulate the sector to recognise the potential of the Nurse Practitioner workforce. Part of this has been a successful Nurse Practitioner Innovations Fund to help NP employment and support.

The Ministry of Health funded the original programme with $300,000 and has since also provided an additional $130 000 the 13 successful NP Innovations Fund projects ( $10,000 each) These are leading edge projects which promote NPs and create more jobs for them in the sector.

‘The Programme has been very successful getting the message across about the great potential of Nurse Practitioners but their job isn’t over yet,’ the Minister said.

‘So I am very pleased to announce the Ministry of Health will fund another $300,000 for a further 12 months.’ (2008/2009)


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