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Wound care nurse endorsed as 12th nurse practitioner.

The country's 12th nurse practitioner (NP) is Hawke's Bay wound care specialist and intravenous (IV) case co-ordinator Pip Rutherford. She was endorsed as an NP in wound care late last year after the Nursing Council had initially declined educational equivalence. Rutherford, after discussion with NZNO professional nursing adviser Susanne Trim, Hawke's Bay District Health Board (DHB) director of nursing Elaine Papps, Monash University staff, nursing colleagues and other NPs, decided to appeal the Council's decision. She prepared a submission and after a teleconference, the Council granted her educational equivalence.

She has studied for the last five years through Monash and Melbourne Universities and has a post graduate diploma in case management from Melbourne University and eight papers from the graduate wound care programme at Monash University. To complete her masters she will undertake two pharmacology papers through the Eastern Institute of Technology, a two-paper thesis and a practicum paper. She studied in Melbourne because the papers she needed were not available in New Zealand. Rutherford was inspired to become an NP because she wanted to stay in clinical practice and to be innovative in care delivery. One such innovation she is considering is the creation of a "virtual clinic" providing access to clinical expertise in wound care. This would develop an intermediate level of wound care sitting between and overlapping primary and secondary care. "It should help reduce patients moving up into secondary care through early differential diagnosis and management of complex wounds. Another benefit would be to speed up transition from secondary to primary care through early discharge, case management and community provider support," she said.

Rutherford is already involved in an interdisciplinary diabetes ulcer clinic and would love to have a similar complex wound clinic. She is also interested in exploring the idea of a pressure area clinic for chair bound patients to prevent and manage pressure areas. The clinic would involve occupational therapists, physiotherapists and the Accident Compensation Corporation. She anticipates dropping the IV component of her work to ensure the best use of her skills and time.

Rutherford, who was still negotiating her employment as an NP when Kai Tiaki Nursing New Zealand went to press, hopes to become a nurse prescriber and to do more nursing research. She urged other nurses to pursue NP status and to look for support in that goal outside their work organisation from such bodies as NZNO, the Nurse Practitioner Advisory Committee, tertiary institutions and other NPs.
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Title Annotation:News And Events
Publication:Kai Tiaki: Nursing New Zealand
Geographic Code:8NEWZ
Date:Feb 1, 2005
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