Diabetes e-learning site launched for PHC nurses

1 December 2012

A free online learning programme to help primary health care nurses meet the growing demands for diabetes care is being offered on a newly launched website.

The e-learning resource has been developed by nurses for nurses by the New Zealand Society for the Study of Diabetes (NZSSD), with the support of the Diabetes Nurse Specialist Section (DNSS) of NZNO.

Helen Snell, a diabetes nurse practitioner and a NZSSD spokesperson, said a catalyst for the online resource was the growing incidence of diabetes and the demands this was placing on primary health care nurses.

“In particular, with the change from the Get Checked Programme to Diabetes Care Improvement Packages, a pressing need was identified for a contemporary and evidence-based online resource to be readily available.

The content of the programme is based on the Whanganui PHO (primary health organisation) diabetes workbook and aims to help nurses feel confident and effective when caring for people with diabetes.

It contains seven modules aligned with the Diabetes Nursing Knowledge and Skills Framework and is aimed at the ‘fundamental’ and ‘generalist’ levels on the framework.

Snell said areas covered include different diabetes management strategies, self-care of diabetes, and also initiating insulin in general practice, which was being increasingly encouraged.

“We hope that it (the e-learning programme) will whet nurses’ appetite to learn much more about diabetes and to go on to become diabetes nurses specialists and registered nurse prescribers.”

The learning resource website can be accessed via NZSSD www.nzssd.org.nz or NZNO www.nzno.org.nz.

The online learning resource is stage one of a wider diabetes knowledge and skills platform website being developed by NZSSD, with the long-term aim of the site to provide resources and networks for diabetes consumers, non-regulated diabetes workers, and health professionals working in the field.

Meanwhile, a second cohort of 15 diabetes nurse specialists who wish to prescribe has been recruited and is working to complete a practicum so the nurses can meet Nursing Council prescribing standards. The nurses are spread across six sites, from Northland to Central Otago, and will bring the total number of diabetes nurse specialist prescribers to 26.