Photo: Louise Quinn (left) and Bronwyn Pester.
Congratulations to our two new nurse practitioners – Bronwyn Pester in Pain Service, and Louise Quinn in Mental Health & Addictions. Achieving nurse practitioner (NP) status means they can practice beyond the level of a registered nurse and take a more autonomous and leadership role in clinical care.*
They join 10 nurse practitioners already employed by Waikato DHB in NP-specific roles, and several more who have achieved NP status but are working in generic nursing roles.
Waikato DHB’s nurse manager workforce Lin Marriott says the achievement reflects a huge amount of work, both academically to Masters level and above, and clinically to gain the clinical assessment skills and leadership requirements of the role.
“Louise and Bron achieved high grades leading into the one year University of Auckland Nurse Practitioner Training Programme which enables them to work autonomously with patients, case manage, prescribe tests and medicines, and be leaders in health service delivery.”
Both of them now take up nurse practitioner roles at Waikato DHB.
For Quinn, that means being part of a new team in Emergency Department (ED) at Waikato Hospital which will work specifically with people who present at ED with mental health concerns.
For Pester, it will focus on bridging the inpatient and outpatient components of Pain Service, particularly managing analgesic requirements among perioperative and trauma patients. This will include managing opioid use as people transition out in to the community.
“There is also a wide gap in the management of chronic pain in primary care and I would like to provide education for practice nurses and others to enable them to help patients better manage their conditions at home,” Pester says.
Both of them remark that the journey to nurse practitioner has helped them view things in a much broader way. Pester finds she connects various aspects of peoples’ health much more comprehensively now, while Quinn notes that the nurse practitioner role is much broader than learning pharmacology, pharmacokinetics and being able to prescribe.
“The main thing the NP training done for me is reshape my thought process. It has taught me to think more critically, methodically and broadly around a person’s presenting symptoms, using a framework to minimise the risk of missing anything which could be contributing or impacting on their current presentations,” she says.
The two nurse practitioners were supported by their respective services and other nurse practitioners as clinical supervisors, chief nursing and midwifery officer Sue Hayward and the Nursing & Midwifery Directorate, and the Waikato DHB Professional Development Unit.
* Nurse practitioner scope as set out by the Nursing Council of New Zealand:
Nurse practitioners have advanced education, clinical training and the demonstrated competence and legal authority to practise beyond the level of a registered nurse. Nurse practitioners work autonomously and in collaborative teams with other health professionals to promote health, prevent disease, and improve access and population health outcomes for a specific patient group or community. Nurse practitioners manage episodes of care as the lead healthcare provider in partnership with health consumers and their families/whānau. Nurse practitioners combine advanced nursing knowledge and skills with diagnostic reasoning and therapeutic knowledge to provide patient-centred healthcare services including the diagnosis and management of health consumers with common and complex health conditions. They provide a wide range of assessment and treatment interventions, ordering and interpreting diagnostic and laboratory tests, prescribing medicines within their area of competence and admitting and discharging from hospital and other healthcare services/settings. As clinical leaders they work across healthcare settings and influence health service delivery and the wider profession.