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Network recruits first permanent Nurse Practitioner

Network recruits first permanent Nurse Practitioner

In a first-ever recruitment appointment NZLocums has placed a Nurse Practitioner into a permanent role in a New Zealand rural general practice.

Nurse Practitioner Rachael Pretorius began work at Martinborough Health Services in the southern Wairarapa in August this year. She holds a Masters of Nursing and qualified as a Nurse Practitioner Primary Care with prescribing in 2014.

Rachael was placed into the role by NZLocums, the recruitment division of the New Zealand Rural General Practice Network, which has a Ministry of Health contract to recruit GPs and Nurse Practitioners to work in rural New Zealand on either short or long term (and permanent) placements.

Rachael says she loves working in the rural setting which is a world away from the fast-paced Auckland practice where she was previously employed and offers a completely different sort of medicine.

Network chairperson and Temuka-based Nurse Practitioner Sharon Hansen said the appointment is “fantastic news” because it sets the scene for Nurse Practitioners to take their rightful place in rural general practice, in supporting the general practice team and in providing equitable and accessible care in rural communities.

“We look forward to future opportunities to place Nurse Practitioners in rural general practice teams and to the valuable contribution they will make to easing workforce pressures in the rural health sector.

“There are more Nurse Practitioners being trained in New Zealand now and with the Government’s recent announcement that an extra $846,000 will go into training more Nurse Practitioners in coming years their numbers in New Zealand will grow and their contribution will become more apparent,” said Ms Hansen.

On July 30 this year the Minister of Health announced that the Government is committing $846,000 to support an additional 20 Nurse Practitioner trainees in 2016.

Ms Hansen said at the time that the additional funding was “ground breaking” but added that there needed to be an even distribution throughout the country for Nurse Practitioners in terms of their training and work placement post registration and to ensure that they are well supported in the workplace.

As at 31 March 2015, 145 nurse practitioners were registered by the Nursing Council of New Zealand.

Nurse Practitioners are experienced nurses with a clinical Master’s degree. They work in a range of settings from hospitals and aged care facilities to general practices.

ENDS

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