Advanced Practice Nursing in New Zealand
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Nurse practitioners in New Zealand are regulated as advanced practitioners who are fully authorized prescribers working independently or in collaborative teams. The NP role carries no requirements for oversight, supervision, protocols, enforced or formal collaboration nor limits to prescribing. In this regard, NPs have an enviable amount of freedom and autonomy to practice their craft. However, the growth of the NP workforce has been slow to materialize, with considerable variation in the establishment of their services across New Zealand. Over the years, nursing leadership has worked consistently and proactively to lobby for and progress the necessary changes in legislation that has enabled NPs to deliver services similar to those of a primary care or family physician and to receive equivalent government funding. Yet despite the ongoing shortage of physicians in the primary health and aged care sectors, the increasing prevalence of long-term conditions, and persisting health inequalities, NPs have not been recognized in policy as a solution. Through this chapter we describe the development of the NP workforce within the context of the health system in New Zealand, identifying current and future challenges.
KeywordsNurse practitioner Primary health care Primary care Health inequalities (or inequities) Advanced nursing Nursing leadership
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