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Support for new graduates in primary health care launched.

Eleven primary health care (PHC) nurses in MidCentral District Health Board's (MDHB) area are taking part in the DHB's inaugural first-year-of-practice (FYOP) programme for PHC nurses. The programme is the culmination of two years' development work, which originated when the DHB's PHC nursing development team was one of 11 nursing innovations to gain Ministry of Health funding in 2002. The team's initial vision of a whariki or woven mat, with the interweaving of many disparate nursing strands, has finally become visible, according to the MDHB's director of nursing, primary health, Chiquita Hansen. "Be,fore we could establish a FYOP programme,for PHC nurses, there were many building blocks to be put in place. These included the development of the PHC nursing development team, the PHC nursing clinical governance council, and the development of a PHC professional development recognition programme (PDRP). We also had to draw up memorandums of understanding with the more than 100 agencies that employ PHC nurses in our region. This means these agencies have committed to our PHE philosophy and principles and that is a huge achievement," she said.

The DHB has provided an additional $2 million--for nurse practice development programmes. Of the 11 nurses on the FYOP programme, six are funded through the DHB's nursing practice development programme. The $12,000 funding for each of the six nurses ensures they are supernumerary.for their first four weeks and their preceptors are supernumerary for the first two weeks; and covers the cost of attending study days, clinical supervision, 80 hours of contact between the nurse and the preceptor and the cost of 24 hours of professional development and support,for the preceptors. The agencies employing the other five nurses have committed to release the nurses and their preceptors for study days. Project leader for the programme Debbie Davies said the nurses would attend six core study days focusing on conditions across the continuum of health and well-being and two specialist PHC study days. The aim is for the nurses to achieve level two on the NZNO PHE PDRP by the end of the programme.

The team hopes to have 12 nurses in the FYOP programme each February and August. Hansen said PHC organisations in the region,fully supported the programme. There was a shortage of PHC nurses and NZNO's survey of PHC members showed that support in the workplace was a crucial-factor in retaining nurses. The FYOP programme would help in both those critical areas. She hopes the programme will receive Clinical Training Agency funding when entry-to-practice programmes for PHC ore introduced nationally next year.
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Title Annotation:NEWS AND EVENTS
Publication:Kai Tiaki: Nursing New Zealand
Date:Mar 1, 2006
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