Emma London, Waitemata DHB’s first new graduate district nurse in over a decade, is the first nurse employed straight from nursing school into the DHB’s district nursing service since 2007.

London, 34, said she enjoyed the challenge of going quickly into working independently in a role most often taken on by more experienced nurses. “Working alone isn’t easy and you’re ultimately responsible for the wellbeing of your patients, particularly given the complexity of some of the cases.”

She said it suited her because she was comfortable liaising with specialists and doctors on behalf of her patient. “If I am not sure of an answer, I’ll find out. I am also lucky to have the support of a great team who are there on the other end of the phone if I need them.”

Nationally, district nursing is one of the toughest specialities to gain a Nurse Entry to Practice Programme (NETP) place, with last year just 16 of the 94 new nurses who sought a NETP job in district nursing being successful.

London is one of the 26 district nurses who make up the DHB’s North Shore district nursing service covering an area from Stillwater in the north to Devonport. The team has a caseload of around 450 patients, with the team between them seeing up to 120 patients a day.

Waitemata DHB’s director of nursing and midwifery Dr Jocelyn Peach said it was committed to assisting nurses at all levels to achieve their career goals, including opening doors for graduates and encouraging them to follow their hearts into a wide range of roles where they could make a real difference.

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