NP champions to replace NPAC

1 July 2012

Nurse practitioner champions and the National Nursing Organisations group are proposed to take over the work of the Nurse Practitioners Advisory Committee (NPAC-NZ) that has been wound up after a decade’s work.

NPAC-NZ was formed in 2002 to advance the development of the NP role in New Zealand and was made up of representatives of the New Zealand Nurses Organisation, College of Nurses Aotearoa, College of Mental Health Nurses, and National Council of Māori Nurses.

Former NPAC chair Helen Snell said the winding up of the committee was prompted by the NZNO, which provided administrative support to NPAC for the past three years, and supported by the College of Nurses.

She said NZNO and the College acknowledged the significant amount of work done by the committee but questioned whether it was the best vehicle for working through the remaining NP barrier issues.

“What they’ve said to us is that it’s not that NP issues aren’t important but that they can ramp up the attention on the remaining barriers through the nursing leadership within each professional organisation,” said Snell, an NPAC member since 2004 and chair since 2009. “They emphasised it was a ramping-up not a winding down.”

Jenny Carryer, executive director of the College of Nurses, said the organisations believed NP issues were so important that they really needed to be "re-owned" at the level of the National Nursing Organisations group. She said the group, made up of the nine major nursing organisations, including the Nursing Council and educator groups, met three to four times a year and would be ramping up its focus on NP issues.

Snell said it was also understood Nurses Practitioners New Zealand (a division of the College of Nurses) might also be able to take up some of the work that NPAC-NZ had been doing.

Meanwhile, NPAC’s final piece of work was a paper advocating that each member organisation should have an NP champion who would be the conduit to bring NP issues to the National Nursing Organisations group.