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Nurse practitioner seeks better health for Maori.

THE COUNTRY'S first Maori nurse practitioner (NP) was announced last month, bringing the total number of NPs to nine. Janet Maloney-Moni, who delivers a disease state management (DSM) mobile service through Raukura Hauora o Tainui Ki Waikato in Hamilton, is currently completing her master's. This focuses on research into how and why her clinical practice is achieving improved health outcomes for patients in the North Waikato area.

Maloney-Moni was one of 41 Maori registered nurses who graduated with a post-graduate diploma in health science from the University of Auckland in 2001. The aim of the one-year programme was to equip Maori nurses with the skills to reduce disparities between Maori and non-Maori in diabetes, lung and heart disease. She chairs the Mobile Maori DSM Trust, was formerly the manager of a Maori mental health service in Hamilton and a member of the Maori diabetes steering group committee at the Waikato District Health Board.

Maloney-Moni, who began her nursing career at the Bay of Plenty Hospital over 30 years ago, is of Whakatohea descent and from Opotiki. She was invited to give a presentation at last year's NP conference in Auckland and encouraged to apply for NP status by the country's first NP Deborah Harris. Her approach to nursing is along a "cultural and clinical pathway", which, she believes, is "the only way to meet the health needs of our people". Going to Maori clients in the environment they feel comfortable in ("Hauora ki te tangata ki roto e te whare--the health of our people is in our homes") makes all the difference to positive health outcomes, she says. "I see the poverty and complex health issues so many of our people face and find it inexcusable. Our people's health should never have got so bad."

Maloney-Moni will complete her master's this year and intends returning to Opotiki to work among her own people at the end of this year. She also intends doing a doctorate, which will be a further examination of Maori health gains using a qualitative research approach.

Other recently endorsed NPs include two nurses specialising in neonatal care. Bronwyn Jones began her nursing career in Dunedin in 1982 and moved into neonatal intensive care nursing four years later. In 2001, she took up a joint appointment at Auckland's National Women's Hospital, combining advanced clinical practice and post-graduate teaching in neonatal care with Massey University. Her challenge for the next few years is to develop her interest in ongoing advanced neonatal nursing care, nursing education, the relationship of the family in the neonatal intensive care environment and neonatal pain relief. She is the first NP to be employed at the Auckland District Health Board.

Karen Anderson-Hawke has worked in New Zealand in neonatal intensive care since 1992, having worked in this area in Australia and the United Kingdom. She has had several leadership roles, including a three-year joint appointment with Massey University co-ordinating the postgraduate training of neonatal nurses. She is currently on unpaid leave from Auckland's National Women's Hospital while she facilitates a neonatal NP training programme at South Australia's Flinder's University. She is the state's second NP and the first authorised under the trans-Tasman agreement. She returns to National Women's at the end of the year to continue in an NP clinical role.

Julie Betts is a wound resource nurse for community services at Waikato District Health Board (DHB). She developed an interest in wound care when working as a district nurse, where 60-70 percent of her work involved wound care. "The DHB was looking for someone to be a resource for others. The job was created and I applied. Recently I have lobbied for a wound resource nurse to work within the hospital. This half-time position dovetails in well with my community focus."

Betts is still completing her master's. She received educational equivalence for the research she has done into effective practice, and most recently, the use of honey in wound healing. She applied for NP status in order to continue advancing her practice, particularly round the management of leg ulcers. She plans to be a prescriber at some point, a skill that will enhance her role further.

Michal Boyd is a senior lecturer in aged care at the Auckland University of Technology and has been appointed an NP in primary health care/aged care. She is currently on sabbatical leave in the United States (US) but intends returning to Auckland to develop an independent, collaborative practice within residential aged care and in community settings. She had already worked as an NP in the US before moving to New Zealand.
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Title Annotation:news and events
Publication:Kai Tiaki: Nursing New Zealand
Date:Aug 1, 2003
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