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Nurse practitioners to get recognition they deserve

Annette King
Health Spokesperson

5 December 2013

Nurse practitioners to get recognition they deserve

Relaxing restrictions on services nurse practitioners can provide is behind a Member’s Bill being promoted by Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King.

“Nurse practitioners are highly skilled medical professionals – they have to complete a master's degree with a clinical focus - yet current laws fail to recognise that.

“A common complaint from nurse practitioners is that the law hinders their ability to practise because it doesn’t reflect the existence of the role.

“My Bill not only redefines the role, it also recognises their advanced qualifications and removes limits to the work they can do, giving nurse practitioners the same rights and powers that doctors have in some areas.

“That includes authorising them to sign death certificates, conduct medical examinations and provide sickness or injury certificates.”

Mrs King said while close to 1000 nurses have completed the qualification in the past 12 years, only about 100 are working in the role.

“Widening the scope of their work will provide more employment opportunities and, in some areas, ease the burden on doctors.”

ENDS

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