Nurse practitioners are expert nurses who work within a specific area of practice incorporating advanced knowledge and skills. They practise both independently and in collaboration with other healthcare professionals to promote health, prevent disease and to diagnose, assess and manage people’s health needs.
They provide a wide range of assessment and treatment interventions, including differential diagnoses, ordering, conducting and interpreting diagnostic and laboratory tests, and administrating therapies for the management of potential or actual health needs. They work in partnership with individuals, families, whanau and communities across a range of settings.
Nurse practitioners prescribe medicines within their specific area of practice. Nurse practitioners also demonstrate leadership as consultants, educators, managers and researchers, and actively participate in professional activities, and in local and national policy development.
Nurse practitioners are authorised prescribers under the Medicines Amendment Act 2013.
The Misuse of Drugs Amendment Regulations 2014 allows nurse practitioners to prescribe controlled drugs within their scope of practice for:
(Prior to 1 July 2014 nurse practitioners could prescribe from a set list of drugs, in an emergency, for up to three days).
Prior to 1 July 2014, nurse practitioners may have been registered without prescribing. From 1 July 2014, this group of non-prescribing nurse practitioners have a condition in the nurse practitioner scope of practice identifying they are unable to prescribe. The condition reads “must not prescribe as an authorised prescriber (nurse practitioner)”.
Nurse Practitioner Qualifications
To register for the nurse practitioner scope of practice, the following qualifications are required:
Every 3 years, prescribing nurse practitioners will be required to provide evidence that they have maintained competence when they apply for their practising certificate. This evidence includes:
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