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Karen Jones:New Zealand Gets First Registered Nurse Prescriber by Natalie Polley - News - Nurses Arena Forum

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Karen Jones:New Zealand Gets First Registered Nurse Prescriber by Natalie Polley by Idowu Olabode : November 02, 2016, 08:46:07 AM
A Puni nurse has become the first New Zealand nurse granted the rights to prescribe medication.

Karen Jones, a registered nurse working at Te Manu Aute Whare Oranga, Manurewa Marae, was the first nurse in the country to get this authorisation as a designated prescriber.

A law change in September meant some registered nurses, working in general practice and specialty health services, who had completed additional education were able to apply to the Nursing Council of New Zealand for authorisation to prescribe within a collaborative team.



Jones said it was "incredible" to be able to add to her scope of practice.

"I studied at Massey University, completing my master of nursing through them, while working full time," Jones said.

"The papers needed to prescribe are pathophysiology, pharmacology, advanced assessment and clinical decision making; along with a prescribing practicum.  It's such a huge achievement resulting from all those years of hard work, which is now paying off," she said.

The new legislation means Jones is now able to provide a complete consultation without having to wait for a doctor to sign prescriptions.

Te Manu Aute Whare Oranga currently has around 1400 patients on its books - with approximately 90 per cent being of Maori ethnicity. 

"Previously patients would wait for the doctor to finish their consultation and then I would go in, explain why the patient had come in, the assessment undertaken and the findings and get their prescriptions signed to either give directly to the patient, or to the pharmacy - which could often mean waiting half a day for their prescription," Jones said.

"It enables the clinic to offer patients needing an appointment for regular medications an appointment with me, instead of running out [of medication] as a result of not being able to get an appointment."

Medications that Jones can now prescribe includes inhalers for asthma, medication for high blood pressure, contraception, diabetes medications including insulin, oral antibiotics, pain relief and creams for eczema - among other medications.

Jones said the new legislation was important for the whole health system in New Zealand.

"There's a shortage of GPs...It enables the doctors and nurse practitioners working in primary care to see those who are acutely unwell or have multiple chronic conditions and need to be seen on the day. Instead, those needing appointments for routine reviews and repeat medications can be seen by a nurse who can prescribe."

As a nurse specialist in primary care, Jones said the next step in her career would be to become a nurse practitioner in primary care - who can diagnose, request lab and radiology tests and prescribe medications the same as doctors can, while having a nursing philosophy.   

"I have had invaluable support from my husband Gordon, my daughters Georgia and Holly and Dr Rod Wynne-Jones," she said.

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Source : NZ Stuff

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