The second cohort of nurse practitioner trainees under the pilot NP training programme are underway. New video resources have also been released outlining what is involved in supervising and mentoring an NP in the making.
Twenty-two would-be NPs have been selected by the two universities currently offering the Nurse Practitioner Training Programme (NPTP) – the University of Auckland and Massey University.
The first cohort of the Health Workforce New Zealand-funded demonstration programme have submitted their application portfolios to the Nursing Council and are due to have their assessment panels in March and April. If the more than 20 NPTP applicants from 2016 are successful they will add to the 221 NPs currently practising (as at Feb 23).
To be eligible for the 10-month-long NPTP programme all candidates have to be in the final year of their clinical masters degree and have backing in writing from an employer ready to support them during the training programme and offer them an NP job once registered.
In the second cohort the University of Auckland has 12 NPTP-funded NP interns and Massey has 10 - with priorities given to applicants in primary health care and aged care. Professor Jenny Carryer of Massey University said this year the nursing school had 17 students altogether undertaking their clinical masters' prescribing practicum this year but only 10 of those were funded under the dedicated NPTP scheme
"We would like to have one streamlined (NP training) system but at the moment the programmes (NPTP and non-NPTP funded NP education) are running concurrently," said Carryer. She said there was to be an evaluation of the NPTP demonstration, once the panel hearings had been held for the first NPTP cohort, and it was hoped this would lead to an expansion of the programme.
There were nearly 50 applicants for the first NPTP cohort with 13 places offered by the University of Auckland and 10 by Massey University. One Massey candidate had to withdraw for health reasons and nine submitted their portfolios ready for the upcoming panel hearings.
Video resources for NP supervisors
Meanwhile video resources to help inform and support people employing and providing clinical supervision to would-be NPs are also now available.
Carryer, who is also executive director of the College of Nurses which funded and produced the resources, said the resources were prompted by a need for more information for both would-be NPs and their mentors about what was required to prepare an applicant for NP registration. "We became aware that there was a lack of knowledge about the level and complexity of practice required at nurse practitioner level."
She said the resulting resources were there to support both prospective NPs and their supervisors and was targeted at anyone who undertakes to be a clinical mentor or supervisor for a nurse practitioner candidate. "We also think it will be useful for anybody who hasn't cottoned on to what an NP is yet."
The six Supervisors for NP Candidate videos provide an overview of the supervisor role and then focus on employing an NP intern, the NP prescribing practicum, applying to become an NP, the NP scope of practice and how to supervise NPs to best effect. The videos comes with supporting information including tips, fact sheets, application forms, business case templates and links to relevant legislation and regulations