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Nursing Council approves practice nurse programme.

The Nursing Council has approved NZNO's practice nurse accreditation programme as meeting its competency requirements for renewal of practising certificates. This means practice nurses who have been accredited within the last three years will be excluded from the Council's random audits of nurses' competence to practise. NZNO is the first professional nursing organisation to have a Nursing Council approved professional development programme.

The programme was developed in 1996 and was formally reviewed that year and again in 2003. It has evolved over time to cover the changing primary and public health focus of the role and to include key focus areas such as chronic illness managements and clinical updates. An expert endorsement option was added in 2001. NZNO applied to the Council for approval in January this year. Last month the Council endorsed the programme for five years, with an audit in a year. Congratulating all the staff involved, the Council noted several positive aspects of the programme. These included:

* The leadership shown by the New Zealand College of Practice Nurses NZNO in developing a national programme for all practice nurses.

* NZNO's organisational support, specifically the facilitator's role.

* The peer support gained by practice nurses who participate in the programme.

* The personal and professional learning reported by the applicants.

* The pilot and evaluation of the programme and engagement with practice nurses.

NZNO professional nursing adviser and programme co-ordinator Angela Dawbin said the Nursing Council would be notified annually of those nurses who had been accredited, or had revalidation of accreditation, or re-accreditation or re-accreditation with expert endorsement under the programme. Those nurses would then be excluded from the five percent of individual practitioners Nursing Council randomly selects each year to audit their professional development portfolios for renewal of their annual practising certificates.

To be accredited on the progamme, a nurse must be employed as a practice nurse and have completed 2500 hours of practice in the last five years. The accreditation requirements include completion of the self assessment quality of care tool, setting professional goals, evidence of 50 hours of education/professional development in the last 18 months, evidence of two audits and an additional method of practice review. NZNO has 900 practice nurse members and 470 practice nurses are on the programme.

NZNO's professional services manager Joy Bickley Asher said Nursing Council approval of the programme was hugely significant. "College members and staff have together put in an enormous amount of work over several years to achieve this. NZNO has demonstrated professional leadership and has gained professional kudos. And this approval sets a precedent for other sections and colleges."
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Title Annotation:NEWS AND EVENTS
Publication:Kai Tiaki: Nursing New Zealand
Date:Nov 1, 2005
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