Introducing GV Health's emergency Nurse Practitioners
Published at: 26 Jun 2020
THE FIRST NURSE PRACTITIONER WAS ENDORSED IN AUSTRALIA IN 2000 AND SINCE THEN HUNDREDS OF NURSES HAVE GAINED THE QUALIFICATION ACROSS THE COUNTRY. GV HEALTH HAS ONE QUALIFIED EMERGENCY NP AND TWO EMERGENCY NP CANDIDATES CURRENTLY COMPLETING THEIR TRAINING. THE TRIO DISCUSSED THEIR COMPLEX ROLES.
GV Health Executive Director Quality, Risk and Innovation and Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer Kellie Thompson said nurse practitioners (NPs) were trailblazers in healthcare.
“Nurse practitioners are highly skilled clinical experts that provide healthcare across a huge range of clinical areas,” she said.
“GV Health is extremely fortunate to have the skills and expertise of these staff working in our organisation.”
Ms Thompson said this year was a chance to celebrate NPs, not only marking 20 years since the first NP was endorsed in Australia, but also coinciding with the International Year of the Nurse and Midwife.
GV Health Executive Director of Medical Services and Chief Medical Officer John Elcock reiterated Ms Thompson’s statements.
“Nurse practitioners are highly qualified and skilled nurses who are specialised in a particular clinical field,” he said.
“They can perform some roles and tasks that were previously only able to be done by doctors.”
Dr Elcock said models of care developed both in Australia and overseas had demonstrated NPs were a critical workforce, especially in rural and regional areas.
“NPs deliver care effectively and efficiently in collaboration with doctors and other healthcare workers,” he said.
“GV Health has a number of NPs working in different clinical areas and we recognise the significance of the work they do with the broader health workforce team.”
TWENTY YEARS OF NURSE PRACTITIONERS IN AUSTRALIA
This year is an important year for all NPs in Australia, celebrating 20 years since NPs were first endorsed.
Originating in the United States in August 1965, doctors Loretta Ford and Henry Silver developed the first NP program at the University of Colorado.
It was not until October 1990 that the first NP Committee was convened in New South Wales, beginning the NP movement in Australia
In January 1994, the NP Pilot Project was established, and began that year in September.
In December 1999, the NP trial began in the Australian Capital Territory and the first two nurse practitioners were endorsed in Australia on December 12, 2000.
Sue Denison (specialising in rural and remote health) and Jane O’Connell (emergency) were the two trailblazing nurse practitioners.
In May 2001, Olwyn (Ollie) Johnston was the first nurse practitioner approved to work in a remote area of far west NSW and has been recognised for her specialities in rural and remote health care.
What is a Nurse Practitioner?
According to the Australian College of Nurse Practitioners, a nurse practitioner (NP) is a registered nurse with the experience and expertise to diagnose and treat people of all ages with a variety of acute or chronic health conditions.
NPs have completed a Master’s degree at university and are the most senior clinical nurses in the healthcare system.
The title of nurse practitioner can only be used by a person who has been endorsed by the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia.
Did you know that NPs…
• have practised in Australia for 20 years;
• provide health care in all states and territories in Australia;
• can provide patient rebates through Medicare;
• provide prescriptions and access to PBS medicines;
• can refer patients to hospitals and specialists; and
• can order X-rays and diagnostic tests.
The Nurse Practitioner role aims to:
• improve access to treatment;
• provide cost-effective care;
• target at-risk populations;
• provide outreach services in rural and remote communities; and
• provide mentorship and clinical expertise to other health professionals.
Nurse Practitioners in Emergency Department aim to:
• improve patient waiting times;
• provide timely and quality care;
• improve continuity of care;
• help with retention of expert nurses in clinical practice;
• improve health promotion and patient education; and
• provide extended service out of hours to improve access to patient care.